The 11th IKF Asia-Oceania Korfball Championship that took place in Pattaya City, Thailand, from 28th November to 4th December 2022, has its final champion: Chinese Taipei. All the other 7 qualified countries from Asia and Oceania that will participate in next year’s IKF World Korfball Championship are also known after Sunday’s results: TPE, CHN, AUS, NZL, IND, JPN, HGK and THA.
This was a qualifying event for the next IKF World Korfball Championship 2023 to be played in Taipei. [Download Press event booklet here]. From Asia and Oceania, 7 countries were able to qualify for the WKC 2023 (in addition to the host country), among which at least one Oceanian country. [Read more about qualification]
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The Korfball Association of Thailand (KAT), in collaboration with the IKF, was the organiser of this important championship, the largest AOKC event ever held with 12 teams participating.
The teams of Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand battled it out in two groups of six (drawn based on world rankings) before cross over matches make for an exciting final weekend where all teams were still be contention to qualify for next year’s World Championship.
DAY 7 REVIEW – Finals (4/12/2022) – By Rob Smith
On the final day, with a series of ranking games, play started early.
First up Indonesia and Malaysia played off for ninth position. Although out of the qualification places, ninth at this tournament is first reserve for the 2023 Korfball World Championship, so some hope for the winner. Both teams worked hard, despite this being the end of a tough week. Malaysia prevailed by 16-7 and will be waiting for the call if one of the qualifiers is not able to make it to Taipei next year.
Thailand and Hong Kong China met to determine seventh place. A close game showed how much the host has improved through the tournament: their IKF ranking is 20 places lower than their opponent, though most of the way through the scoreboard suggested we were heading for golden goal. In the end, Hong Kong China did just enough to complete victory: 9-8.
Next up, India versus Japan was a rematch of a pool game from day two of the tournament, where India showed that, despite several years of absence from international korfball, opponents need to take them seriously. India led most of the way, though never by more than two, and at the end that was the difference: 12-10. Fifth place capped a successful return to this tournament for India, while now sitting sixth in the region, Japan falls back one place from the ranking they achieved in 2018.
Despite being neighbours and close korfball friends, New Zealand and Australia have not met in a full senior international match since 2010. With the bronze medal at stake today, nerves and fatigue from a tough week got the better of New Zealand early, and they failed to find the energy that had served them well to date. By the time they clicked into gear, Australia’s lead was too great, and the more experienced Australian team was able to withstand a comeback to take the bronze medal by 16-11.
In the final, perennial Asia-Oceania champion Chinese Taipei showed that, despite winning all their games with ease, they have played so far this week with power to spare, lifting their game with increased precision in attack and sustained excellence throughout the team for a spectacular crowd pleasing performance to overcome their neighbour and rival, China, by 29-17.
DAY 7 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
DAY 6 REVIEW – Semi-finals (3/12/2022) – By Rob Smith
With the top four teams in this tournament decided yesterday, today and tomorrow will determine which others fill the next four ranking positions and therefore assure qualification to the 2023 World Korfball Championship.
India faced Indonesia in the first game, intent on celebrating their comeback to international korfball after a long absence with a seat at the top table. While the first half was tight and tense, India moved up a gear in the second half to win the game comfortably, 25-8, therefore securing qualification and participation in the world championship for the first time since 2011, a whole generation ago in terms of korfball talent.
Hong Kong China and Japan both participated in the 2019 world championship, having finished fourth and fifth respectively in 2018’s edition of this tournament, and are both intent on building on that in 2023. They met to decide which will definitely advance. Hong Kong China led for much of a game dominated by defence and characterised by nerves in attack. Although Hong Kong China seemed to have overcome their disappointment at missing a top four place yesterday, the margin was always small and Japan stayed positive to take the lead late in the game, holding firm to win by 10-9. Japan celebrated their qualification and a chance to play for the fifth ranking this week, while Hong Kong China has one more chance tomorrow to make it into the top eight.
Thailand and Singapore met to determine which will keep their opportunity to qualify for the world championship alive into the last two days. Singapore has yet to win a game, while Thailand achieved that milestone yesterday. Encouraged by that success, the host established a comfortable first half lead, which they built on further for a final scoreline of 21-6, putting into practice what they have learnt in their earlier games. While Singapore became the first team that will definitely not proceed to next year’s world championship, they are young players and their first international experience has set them up for a positive future in korfball.
Malaysia and Philippines met in the day’s final game. Again the loser would be removed from contention for a place in the World Korfball Championship. Malaysia has shown plenty of promise at this tournament, and with a young and determined team, is establishing the foundation required if it is to become a serious future contender. Philippines is at an earlier point in its korfball development. Malaysia steadily built a lead to confirm it remains in contention for qualification, winning by 17-6, while Phillipines must be content to play off for 11th place.
DAY 6 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
MORE DAILY REVIEWS AND IMAGE GALLERIES FROM DAYS 1 TO 5 HERE: https://korfball.sport/?p=29716
LIVE STREAMS, RESULTS & SOCIAL MEDIA
HOW TO FOLLOW
The official profiles of IKF Asia on Facebook, Instagram and Yotube provided a lot of images, videos and information about this tournament.
All teams, participants and fans could join the conversation and share their content and support using the hashtag #AOKC2022 and #korfball.
IKF Asia profiles – @IKFasia:
You could also follow the event on IKF’s main channels:
Event information can be found here: https://korfball.sport/event/ikf-asia-oceania-korfball-championship-2022/