Qatar volleyball, handball teams move into semifinals
Host teams continue their dream runs, posting convincing victories in the quarterfinal stage.
Qatar teams continued their dream run at the Association of Olympic Committees’ World Beach Games, with the handball and 4×4 volleyball sides qualifying for the semifinal stages.
At the Al Gharafa Centre Court, the handball team emerged 24-17, 21-14 winners over Australia in their last-eight match while the volleyball team defeated Chile 21-13, 21-18.
The five-time Asian handball champions will have their job cut out in the semifinal on Tuesday as they face world champions Brazil, who beat Croatia 30-20, 16-17, 6-4 in the other quarterfinal.
Qatar met Brazil previously at the 2014, ’16 and ’18 World Championships, losing on all the three occasions. Coach Khaled Hassan said he hoped to be fourth-time lucky.
|Spain bt Denmark||20-17, 30-24|
|Brazil bt Croatia||30-20, 17-16, 6-4|
|Sweden bt Hungary||17-19, 22-20, 7-4|
|Qatar by Australia||24-17, 21-14|
|Spain vs Sweden|
|Qatar vs Brazil|
|Qatar bt Chile||21-13, 21-18|
|Poland by Germany||21-11, 21-9|
|USA bt Mozambique||21-14, 21-13|
|Indonesia bt Australia||23-25, 21-16, 15-9|
|Qatar vs Poland|
|USA vs Indonesia|
“In our last three outings, we lost to them once in regular sets and twice via penalties. But this time, we’re playing at home, and I’m confident the crowd support will spur my players on. We’ll try our best to win,” he told Inside Qatar.
But Qatar Handball Association General Secretary Mohammed Jaber Al Mulla seemed to have no doubts about his team’s success.
“We’re in it to win it. I’m confident my players will deliver when the time comes,” he said confidently.
Spain will play Sweden in the other semifinal. The Spaniards defeated Denmark 20-17, 30-24 while the Swedes overcame Hungary 17-19, 22-20, 7-4.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s volleyball continued their unbeaten streak with an easy verdict against Chile.
The South Americans hardly got any breathing space in the first set and were quickly overwhelmed. They valiantly tried to put up a fight in the second set, coming within two points of the hosts’ score (11-13). But that was as close as they got.
Cherif Younousse, who is fast emerging as one of the tournament’s most valuable players, chose to keep his excitement in check.
“The tournament’s format had been quite new when we started our campaign. Now we’re more comfortable, and it’s evident from the way we play. But we’re careful because other teams have also grown used to it. They’ll also be at their best. We’ll need to be very careful,” he said.
Qatar will play Poland in the semifinal on Tuesday after the Poles got the better of Germany 21-11, 21-9.
The USA will face Indonesia in the other semifinal. While the Americans beat Mozambique 21-14, 21-13, Indonesia came back from a set down to defeat Australia 23-25, 21-16, 15-9.
Qatar, however, had another forgettable day in individual competitions. Their challenge in aquathlon ended meekly after Abdulla Al Kaabi and Fahad Al Mohannadi finished 25th and 26th respectively.
The beach wrestlers fared no better. Abdulrahman Ibrahim lost all his bouts in Group A of the men’s 70kg event. He lost to Ukraine’s Semen Radulov, Georgia’s Levan Kelekhsashvili and Azerbaijan’s Panah Ilyasli by 0-3 margins. He fought hard against Brazil’s Joao Victor dos Santos Silva in the final bout but lost 2-3.
Jafar Khan, competing in Group B of the men’s 90kg fight, lost tamely to Pedro Jacinto Garcia Perez (Spain), Grigorios Kriaridis (Greece) and Mihai Nicolae Palaghia (Romania), all by 0-3 margins.