The IKF U23 Asia-Oceania Korfball Championship is due to kick off today in Hsinchu (Taiwan), with the first match between the Philippines and Hong Kong China. Organizers are completing the final last minutes preparations for what promises to be an exciting tournament, with the top 3 Asian teams able to qualify for the U23 World Korfball Championship next year in the Czech Republic. Australia have already qualified representing Oceania.
Teams have completed the final day of pre-match trainings yesterday. Host nation Chinese Taipei is the clear favorite for the title, with China, India, Hong Kong China, Australia, and Macau China are the likely teams to contest the remaining medal spots. Indonesia and newcomer Philippines are outsiders in the Championship.
The International Korfball Federation is very happy with the international début of the national team of the Philippines. Excellent development work in the Philippines has been conducted by IKF Asia Secretary General Warman Cheng, and the national team has been prepared and will be coached by Edwin Bouman from the Netherlands.
The match will be followed by the opening ceremony, which will be attended, among others, by Taiwan Sport Minister Dr Ho Jow-Fei, Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-Chien, IKF President Dr Jan Fransoo, IKF Asia President Dr Huang Ying-Che, and IKF Secretary General Graham Crafter.
Due to a last minute revision of the match schedule due to logistical problems of one of the teams, the first match PHI-HKG will be played at 1520 local time (720AM GMT). Matches can be watched live on the IKF Channel.