By David Gold

Japan_v_Brazil_handballSeptember 27 - Teams from across America and Asia are gearing up for Olympic handball qualification tournaments as they bid to reach London 2012.

Britain's men and women, as well as men's world champions France and women's European champions Norway, are the only teams to have qualified for London so far.

The winners of the respective Asian and Pan American tournaments will reach London next year, with the runners up in each competition going forward to another round of qualifiers.

In Asia, the women's teams are in Changzhou, China, with two groups participating in a preliminary qualifying round.

Group A consists of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Turkmenistan and Iraq, with 2008 bronze medallists South Korea alongside Japan, North Korea and Qatar in Group B.

The men's tournament, played in Seoul, Korea, will see Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Uzbekistan, whilst Iraq will also be in the group along with two countries they have fought on the battlefield in the last 20 years; Kuwait and Iran.

Group B sees Korea, Japan, China, Kazakhstan and Oman face each other.

The American tournament pits Brazil, Chile, Canada and Venezuela against each other in the men's tournament at Guadalajara, Mexico.

They are in Group A, whilst Group B consists of Argentina, the Dominican Republic, hosts Mexico and the USA.

In the women's groups, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and the USA contest Group A, with Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Chile fighting out Group B.

African and European qualification will be decided in Morocco and Serbia respectively in January.

The final qualification tournaments will take place in Sweden, Denmark and Spain respectively in April.

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