Bahrainis reach handball semis with win over Kuwait

September 11, 20190

?Bahrain booked their berth in the semi-finals of the handball championship at the ongoing 17th Asian Games in Incheon, in South Korea.
In their deciding second round match against Kuwait yesterday (September 26), Bahrain recovered from a stumbling start to clinch a sensational 26-22 victory and join group leaders Qatar in the competition’s final four.
Sadeq Abdulla was the hero for the Kingdom’s team, scoring five crucial goals, most of which came in the second-half which saw Bahrain’s outstanding comeback.
Ali Merza, Ali Abdulqader and Husain Al Sayyad were also at peak form, scoring four goals apiece and contributing to the epic return for the Salah Bouchekriou-coached Bahrainis.
Both teams headed into the concluding second round tie sharing second place with two points each from two matches.
The Kuwaitis started the game showing some confidence they knew that even a draw would send them through to the semi-finals as they enjoyed a better goal difference, thanks to Qatar’s emphatic 28-19 win over Bahrain on Thursday.
A well-organised team efforts with solid defence and quick counter attacks gave Kuwait an early 14-10 lead at half-time, with Soud Al Dhuwaihi and Multaq Al Dousrey making the most of scoring.
However, Bahrain came back after the break and they gradually managed to close in on their opponents, following some amazing saves by goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulhussain and key goals from Hasan Al Samahiji, Sadeq Abdulla and Husain Al Sayyad.
Excitement mounted in the second stage of the 30-minute second-half where Bahrain took over the lead for the first time after a remarkable overall performance by Bouchekriou’s players, which sealed their place in the semi-finals against Group ‘B’ hosts South Korea on Monday (September 29).
Elsewhere, Abdulla Janahi slipped one place after the third day of the Laser Standard Class event. His results in three races held yesterday were 6-5-4, which saw him drop one spot and is now in seventh position with 39 net points. 
Meanwhile, the athletics events are all set to begin today as Bahrain is scheduled to compete in seven different contests and have high hopes to start their medal haul at Incheon Games. Bahrain sent 28 of its best athletes to the far East in their quest for various medal victories.
At the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, Alemu Bekele will be the first athlete to run for Bahrain in the men’s 5,000m final at 3pm (Bahrain time). Early on, Abbas Abubaker is scheduled to run in the men’s 400m heat.
In the women’s section, Noora Jasim will participate in the shot put event, then Taj Baba and Eunice Chumba will both battle in the 10,000m final, Rosemary Mumo and Ruth are both ready for the 3,000m final, while Hajer Al Amiri will enter the 100m heat.
In related development, Bahrain delegation head and the president of the West Asian Athletics Federation and Bahrain Athletics Association Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa arrived in Incheon yesterday to attend the Games athletics events. 
Shaikh Khalid was welcomed on arrival by Bahrain Olympic Committee general secretary Abdulrahman Askar, Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa and other high ranking Bahraini sports officials, who briefed him on the Bahrain teams progress at the Games.
In Cycling, Bahrain team riders Sayed Ahmed Khalil and Mansoor Mohammed will both take part in the time trial race from 8am. Both riders arrived in Incheon recently and started preparations under coach Naji Ahmed. They had a training programmes in Malaysia and Indonesia.

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