The best handball talent is all set to test each other’s mettle as the Qatar Handball Association (QHA) has completed its preparations for the 2013 International Handball Federation’s (IHF) Super Globe tournament which will be held here at the Al Gharafa Indoor Hall from August 25 to 30.
Defending champions Atletico Madrid from Spain will be conspicuous by their absence as they were recently disbanded due to financial problems. FC Barcelona Intersport, also from Spain and runners-up of the European Handball Federation’s (EHF) Final-Four competition, are their replacement in the tournament.
Five teams including FC Barcelona, Sydney University from Australia, Taubate of Brazil, Etoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia and HSV Hamburg of Germany have arrived yesterday. The draw of the 2013 edition was held in Sarajevo on July 27 on the fringes of the Men’s Junior World Championship.
In group A, European Champions League winner HSV Hamburg faces tournament host Al Sadd, a wild card entrant El Jeish also from Qatar and Oceania representative Sydney University. Al Sadd as the organiser had the right to choose their group and decided for Group A.
In group B, FC Barcelona play against Etoile Sportive du Sahel, winner of the African continental club competition. Asian club champion from Qatar Al Rayyan and Pan-American club champion Taubate from Brazil are the other two clubs.
As far as the preparations of the Qatar clubs are concerned, Jaish completed their training at a camp in Croatia under the guidance of experienced Algerian coach Kamal Aqab, who helped Rayyan win the 2012 Asian title. Aqab was also the mastermind behind Rayyan’s triumphs in Qatar League, Heir Apparent’s Cup and GCC Championship in the 2011-12 season.
Sadd and Rayyan roped in new coaches for this season. Sadd is guided by Algerian Lakhdar Arrouche, who trained Qatar’s youth team to the Asian title in Abu Dhabi in 2010, while Rayyan roped in Croatian Ilija Puljevic.
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