Doha, - The Asia Cup 2017, the biggest indoor hockey tournament to be hosted by Qatar, will kick-off at the Aspire Dome in Doha on Monday with ten countries participating in the men's and women's event.
Qatar will be opening their quest for the Asia Cup champions' trophy with their opening match against Oman on Monday.
Qatar, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, China and DPR Korea are participating in the five-day tournament which runs until April 28.
The men's event comprises of eight teams drawn into two pools.
Host Qatar are drawn in Pool A alongside Iran, Malaysia and Oman while Kazakhstan, the hosts of the 2015 tournament, are in Pool B with Uzbekistan, Taiwan and Thailand.
The top two teams from each group will play in the cross-over semi-finals while the finalists will automatically qualify for the 2018 Hockey Indoor World Cup to be held from February 7-11 in Berlin, Germany.
The women's category comprising defending champions Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, China and North Korea will be a round-robin affair with the top two teams meeting in the final.
(QRHCF) President Youssef Jaham al Kuwari said,"We have been training hard for this tournament and we are well prepared and ready to give our best.." Speaking about Qatar's preparation ahead of the tournament, Kuwari said,"The team had training camps in South Korea and Thailand where they faced tough challenges and performed credibly well. One of the major factors in favour of this team is the fact that they've been together for about six years now and they've blended well. I see them translating their preparations to good performance on the court at the tournament." Qatar's hockey as witnessed a rapid development in the last two years with the country now ranked 20th in the world for indoor and 54th for outdoor. In Asia, Qatar is currently ranked 4th in indoor and for the outdoor, 13th. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency