BOUNCING BACK IN FRANCE?
When Spanish coach Valero Rivera arrived in 2013, he fanned Qatar’s ambitions to win a place in the handball world. The trainer, who had been a World Champion with Spain, used his extensive contacts to convince top players to come and play for Qatar. Frenchman Bertrand Roiné, Egyptian Hassan Mabrouk, Bosnian goalkeeper Danijel Saric and Cuban Rafael Capote were quickly seduced by the ambitions Qatar had set itself. In a few months, the Spanish trainer managed to create a team that was capable of competing on the world stage, even to the point of giving the French team a run for its money in the final of the 2015 World Championship in Doha. With a silver medal in the World Championship just one year after the Asian Championships title (2014), there was no doubt that Qatar was a good and fast learner. Winning the Asian Games again in 2016, Qatar went on to do well at the Games in Rio (beaten in quarter nals by Germany) but were out of medal contention. It will, no doubt, want to jump back into form in France and to prove it has a solid place in the international handball arena.
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DID YOU KNOW?
In 2015 in Doha, Qatar became the first team from outside Europe to play in a World Championship final. Beaten by France, the team then played their first Olympic Games in Rio. Their dream is now to be the first non-European team to be crowned World Champion…