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Date: 2/1/2015

Despite their World Championship debut at Qatar 2015, the men’s handball team of Iran surprised many to win two matches and finish in 21st position.

Speaking on the performance of the team, the Iran Handball Federation First Vice President Dawud Tawakoli said the development of the team is a good example of cooperation of the federation and the International Handball Federation (IHF).

Tawakoli, who is also the President of Playing Rules and Referees commission of the Asian Handball Federation (AHF) and member of the IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC), noted this is a good exposure for the team who have played against the world’s handball superpowers in Doha.

“Winning two matches is a big success for us, being our first time,” said the official. “I thank the International Handball Federation for the support they have given us towards this championship.

“Through the support, we were also able to get 30 journalists from Iran to Qatar to cover this competition.”

The former Iran junior national team player and international referee added they are lacking attention from the public and media in terms of handball development in the country but is hopeful for the future.

“Handball comes third in my country behind volleyball and football but with the support we are getting from the Government in running leagues, there will be a big success in the future.”

The 47-year-old, who currently resides in Germany, intimates that he has learnt a lot in terms of handball development which he shares back home and he is certain that Iran - two-time junior and three-times youth men’s champions - have a great future.

“Handball is my second love after my wife,” he jokes. “I share the experience from Germany not only to Iran but also to other countries especially in the Asian continent.

“Qatar 2015 is the first time the nation has assembled a senior men’s team in a major international championship with many of our players coming from the youth and junior teams.

“Our next step is to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games qualifications later in November.”

By Rebecca Gichana, AIPS Young Reporter - Qatar 2015 in partnership with the IHF