Al Najma lose Asian clubs opener
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain champions Al Najma had a disheartening start yesterday to their campaign in the 25th Asian Men’s Club League Handball Championship, currently being held in Isfahan, Iran.
The Bahrainis lost in their opening Group B contest to defending champions Kuwait SC 36-38 at Naghsh-e-Jahan Arena. Najma held a narrow 19-18 lead at the break but conceded control in a tight second half to the Kuwaitis.
Najma will be looking to bounce back today in their second game against Al Duhail of Qatar, scheduled for a 3.30pm start. In other fixtures yesterday in the s a m e division, Duhail defeated RKOR Tashkent of Uzbekistan 39-26, while Shahid Shameli Kazeroon of Iran beat Junior Club of China 39-32.
In Group A, Kazma of Kuwait defeated T-Sports Club of India 43-20. Following their clash with Duhail today, Najma next take on Junior Club in their third fixture tomorrow, and then have a rest day on Sunday before facing Shahid Shameli on Monday next week.
Najma then completed their preliminary round campaign against RKOR the following day. The tournament, organised by the Asian Handball Federation (AHF), continues until June 10 with 11 teams taking part.
The top two teams from each group following the single round-robin move on to the knockout semi-finals on June 8, while the others will play in the classification fixtures. The gold and bronze medal games will then take place on the final day of the championship.
The winners of the event will qualify for the 17th IHF Men’s Super Globe, to be held from October 17 to 23 in Saudi Arabia. Najma is hoping to replicate or improve on their finish in last year’s Asian clubs competition held in Hyderabad, India, where they won the silver medals following a 23-28 loss against Kuwait in the tournament final. The two teams also met for the Gulf clubs handball title earlier this year, with the Kuwaitis winning that game.