Bahrain handball team arrive in Tokyo
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s men’s national handball team have arrived in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and went straight to work in their final lead-up to the start of the Games on Friday.
The Bahrainis conducted group workouts outdoors, among other things, as they settled in their residences in the Athletes’ Village. The nationals also got their first glimpse of Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, where all matches in the men’s handball tournament will be played.
With just days to go before the action kicks off on Saturday following the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony the night prior, Bahrain will play a warm-up game today against Argentina, who are also competing at the Japanese capital.
The game is scheduled for a 6.30 start, Bahrain time. The Bahrainis are in Group B for the first phase alongside Egypt, Portugal, hosts Japan, world championship silver-medallists Sweden, and reigning world and Olympic champions Denmark; while Argentina is in Group A with Norway, France, Germany, Brazil and Spain.
The roster includes skipper Hussain Al Sayyad, Mohammed Mirza, Mohammed Abdulhussain, Ali Mirza, Mohammed Abdulredha, Hassan Al Samaheeji, Mohammed Habib Madan, Ahmed Al Maqabi, Al Eid, Bilal Basham, Mahdi Saad, Kumail Mahfoodh, Ahmed Jalal, Mohammed Habib Nasser, Hassan Mirza and Hussan Mahfoodh.
Bahrain is coached by former Iceland international Aron Kristjansson, and the team’s staff includes assistant coach Esam Abdulla, physiotherapist Maitham Abdulameer, support staff Ismaeel Eatmadi and team official Ahmed Alnajem. The Bahrainis open their campaign against the Swedes on July 24 before taking on their Portuguese counterparts on July 26.
They then face the high-profile Danes two days later and then square off with fellow-Asian side and the home team Japan on July 30. Bahrain completes the preliminaries against Egypt on August 1.
The top four from each pool move on to the knockout quarter-finals. The Bahrainis booked their berth at the Tokyo Olympics after winning the Men’s Asian Qualification Tournament held in Doha in October of 2019, defeating South Korea 34-29 in the final.
Bahrain is taking part in five sports at these Games. Aside from handball, the others are athletics, swimming, shooting and boxing. More than 200 nations will be represented at the Japanese capital, with athletes vying for medals in over 300 events across more than 30 sports.