Qatar take on Uzbekistan today in Olympic qualifier
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar's handball team will take on Uzbekistan in Doha today in the Asian Qualifying Tournament for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Qatari side missed out on an automatic spot at the Games after failing to beat France in the final of the World Cup earlier this year in Doha. World champions France thus booked their passage to the quadrennial event, along with Brazil who qualify as hosts, and Argentina, who won the Pan American Games gold medal in Toronto earlier this year.
Nine more teams will qualify for the event based on their performances in the Doha tournament (Nov 14-27), the 2016 European Championship, the 2016 African Championship and the Olympic Qualification tournament in April next year.
Qatar Handball Association President Ahmed al-Shaabi had said earlier that he expected the team to win the tournament in Doha and punch their tickets to Rio.
After their match against Uzbekistan, Qatar will face Japan and then Saudi Arabia. The national team held an unprecedented three-month training camp in preparation for the qualifiers.
Al-Shaabi added that the Qatari Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports provided their full backing to the team to ensure they reach the Olympics for the first time in the history of Qatari handball. He also called on the people of Qatar to back their team in their bid for glory.
Like in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 before, the handball tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will consist of twelve men and women teams each.
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