?Bahrain’s national handball team yesterday (September 22) came on top in Group ‘A’ after beating Saudi Arabia 26-20 in the concluding group stages match, part of the ongoing 17th Asian Games in Incheon, in South Korea.
Hussain Al Sayyad scored a game-high seven goals out of nine scoring attempts, thus leading Bahrain to a well-deserved victory, their second successive in this three-nation group. Bahrain were the stronger side in overall as they went ahead by five goals (11-6) at half-time.
Mahmood Abdulqader, who scored eight goals in Bahrain’s emphatic 57-14 victory over Mongolia in the group opener last Saturday, was the second game top scorer with six goals from seven attempts.
Others who contributed to the victory were Jaffar Abdulqader (3 goals), Mahdi Madan, Mohammed Merza, Hasan Al Samahiji (2 each), Hasan Al Fardan, Sadiq Abdulla, Mohamed Al Maqabi, Ali Merza (1 each).
Bahrain’s squad, being coached by Algerian tactician Salah Bouchekriou, also consists of Ali Eid, Jasim Al Salatna, Ali Abdulqader, besides goalkeepers Mohammed Abdulhussain amd Jassim Radhi.
The nationals were congratulated late on by Bahrain Olympic Committee general secretary Abdulrahman Askar, who was keen to witness the game from the stands.
Bahrain now have four points from two matches, two ahead of Saudi Arabia, who had to settle for second place with two points, but joined Bahrain in the second round.
The eight-team second round will also be another double group round robin battle. In the second round, the top eight teams from the first round will be divided into two groups of four nations, with each group winners and runners-up reaching the semi-finals knock-out stage.
In other groups, Iran defeated Kuwait 29-26 and both qualified for the second round from Group ‘A’, Qatar and Oman made it from Group ‘C’, while South Korea and Taiwan qualified as Group ‘D’ winners and runners-up, respectively.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s national shooting team member Lubna Abdulaziz scored 289 points to finish in 29th place out of 44 shooters in the women’s 25m pistol event, while Aseel Abdulghaffar and Lulua Yousef were respectively 39th and 46th in the women’s 10m air rifle contest, which saw 54 participants from 20 nations.
Elsewhere, Askar received at the Bahrain delegation majles in Incheon representatives of the World Academy of Sport Chris Solly and Michael Cary, who received commemorative gifts on this occasion.
Askar stressed the importance of boosting ties between the two parties in order to create prominent sports officials who can develop the development movement within sports associations and organisations in Bahrain.