KARACHI: The Pakistan Beach Handball team qualified for the semifinals in the 1st Asian Beach Games, being held in the holiday resort of Bali in Indonesia.
On Wednesday, Pakistan beat Kuwait in their last Preliminaries Group B match by a 2-1 margin to continue heading the table.
The Pakistan Beach Handball team won all its three matches in the group and gained the full six points. They now meet Qatar in the semifinals today (Thursday). The other semifinal is being played between Thailand and Kuwait on the same day.
It was a good day overall for Pakistan yesterday, as their Beach Kabaddi team won the silver medal after being beaten narrowly by arch-rivals India 37-32 in the final.
On Monday, Pakistan had won their first medal — a bronze — through body builder Mohammad Imran Qureshi, who did so in the 75kg category.
In the Beach Handball event, Pakistan had earlier defeated Jordan 2-0 (14-9, 23-14) on Sunday and then, the next day, beat hosts Indonesia 23-16, 23-10 for another 2-0 result.
On Wednesday, they beat Kuwait 20-5 and then lost 10-14. In the shootout, Pakistan prevailed by 4-1 to end up 2-1 winners.
In the first such sporting event to be held, with much of the action seen on the beaches, in the ocean and on the sand, a total of 45 Asian countries are taking part in Bali. The 1st Asian Beach Games started on Saturday and will continue until next Sunday.
Pakistan are participating in seven of the 19 disciplines on offer. The 41-member contingent of players and officials is represented in Beach Handball, Beach Kabaddi, Beach Volleyball, Beach Wrestling, Body Building, Sailing and Windsurfing.
The other sports being contested in Bali are Beach Basketball, Beach Pencak Silat, Beach Sepaktakraw, Beach Soccer, Beach Waterpolo, Dragon Boat Racing, Jet-Ski, Marathon Swimming, Paragliding, Surfing, Triathlon and Woodball.
The Pakistan pair of Zaheer Abbas and Mohammad Ismail Khan, however, failed to make the Round of 16 in Beach Volleyball. The duo lost both its matches in the Round of 32 yesterday.
They were defeated 2-0 (21-15, 25-23) by Vietnam’s Quoc Nguyen Trong and Vinh Nguyen Thanh first. Later in the day, they were beaten by Khalifa Hamed Al Jabri and Badar Said Ali Subhi of Oman, also by a 2-0 margin (21-16, 21-8).
The Sailing event began on Tuesday. Yesterday, on Raceday 2, Pakistan’s Mohammad Abdul Rehman Bin Nasir Rao, who is only 15 years old, remained at 19th place out of 22 contestants with a net score of 93 in Laser 4.7. The competitions continue until Saturday.
Three Pakistanis are taking part in the Windsurfing contest. On Wednesday’s Raceday 2, Mohammad Tanveer improved his position to sixth from seventh out of nine with a net score of 32 in Men Mistral OD Heavy Weight.
Raja Qasim Abbas Rathore stayed at ninth out of 13, with a net score of 52, in Men Mistral OD Light Weight and Khan Dad was still 13th out of 14, with a net score of 78, in Men RSX.
The Beach Wrestling event begins on Friday (tomorrow). Pakistan is being represented by four grapplers in all four events — Mohammad Taseen in 85+kg, Usman Majeed in 85kg, Ghulam Haider in 65kg and Mohammad Ali in 75kg.