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Qatar's achievement in becoming the first non-European nation to reach the final of the Men's World Handball Championships shows this Gulf state is now a serious sporting competitor at world level, claimed Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
As hosts Qatar prepare for a historic appearance against Olympic champions France in tomorrow's final of the World Handball Championships, wild cards Germany took a vital step towards reaching next year's Rio 2016 Games as they beat Slovenia 30-27 in the play-off for seventh place.
Scenes of joy greeted the latest historic achievement from the host nation Qatar at the 2015 World Handball Championships as a 31-29 victory over Poland in Lusail made them the first non-European - and first Asian - finalist.
Hosts Qatar, already historic achievers having reached the last eight of the World Handball Championships for the first time, now face Poland for a place in the final after earning a 26-24 win over a German side which had won every previous match.
Filip Jicha, the former World Handball Player of the Year, lifted the President's Cup after the Czech Republic had beaten Belarus in a penalty shoot-out following a dramatic finale to their match to determine the best of the non-qualifiers after the opening group matches to send 16 teams to the knock-out stages in Qatar.
Germany, who began the World Handball Championships among the four lowest-seeded nations after getting a wild card entry following Australia's removal, will contest a semi-final place with the host nation Qatar after a 23-16 round-of-16 win over a hugely talented Egyptian team in Doha today.
Argentina earned the final place in the last 16 knock-out stages at the World Handball Championship in Qatar at the expense of Russia, whom they beat 30-27 despite having Sebastian Simonet sent off after quarter of an hour.
Defending champions Spain made it clear they will take some beating at this year's World Handball Championships in Qatar as a 30-26 win over Slovenia - preceded by a minute's silence to respect the passing of the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz - saw them consolidate their position at the top of Group A.
Qatar were agonisingly defeated by defending champions Spain in their penultimate Group A match in front of 12.400 fans in the Lusail Arena - but the World Handball Championship hosts all but overturned their Iberian opposition.
France, favourites to win the Qatar 2015 World Handball Championships, were held dramatically to a 26-26 draw tonight through an equaliser inside the last two minutes by Iceland, one of two late replacements for this tournament.
Germany, who only reached the 2015 World Handball Championship in Qatar through a late wild card entry, now stand as clear leaders of their qualifying Group D after a tense 27-26 win over Russia today.
At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Iranian judoka Arash Miresmaeili was disqualified for weighing in at nearly four pounds above the limit for his weight class of his under-66 kilograms match against an Israeli opponent Ehud Vaks in the first round. It was claimed Miresmaeili had gone on an eating binge to protest the International Olympic Committee's recognition of the state of Israel. Iran does not recognise the state of Israel, and Miresmaeili's actions won praise from high-ranking Iranian officials. Mohammad Khatami, the country's President at the time, was quoted as saying Miresmaili's actions would be "recorded in the history of Iranian glories". He was later awarded $125,000 by the Government - the same amount given to Olympic gold medallists.
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