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After a valiant and close match, Bahrain’s national handball team lost 26-27 to Japan in a bid for the bronze medal at the 19th Asian Men’s Handball Championship.
The team however has been making history during the championship, clinching a berth in the World Men’s Handball Championship to be held in Egypt next January.
A last-ditch 18-17 victory over Saudi Arabia in Kuwait last Thursday triggered double celebrations as Bahrain claimed a maiden World Cup spot, to add to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth they had claimed last October.
The Bahrainis managed to score at the very last second of the match to secure an epic victory, thanks to Ahmed Fadhul’s all-important goal.
Supreme Council for Youth and Sport first deputy chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa directed officials last Friday to pay bonuses to Bahrain’s national handball team.
Unfortunately, hindered by key player Ali Merza sitting out most of the second half due to a red card, and after putting up an intense fight to win, the Bahrain team lost their semi-final match 24-28 to Qatar.
Back in October, the national team beat South Korea 34-29 in a heart-stopping thriller to win the Asian Handball Qualifying Tournament and book a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.