[Last update: 3/12/2022 at 13:30 CET – Day 6 finished] – From Monday 28th November to Sunday 4th December 2022, the 11th IKF Asia-Oceania Korfball Championship is taking place in Pattaya City, Thailand. This is 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 will 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, is 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 will battle 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 will still be contention to qualify for next year’s World Championship.
DAY 5 REVIEW (2/12/2022)
DAY 6 REVIEW (3/12/2022) – By Rob Smith
In the first two games of the day the two remaining qualification places were at stake. Indonesia ranked number 32 by IKF met number 34 ranked Thailand in the first match. Although Indonesia is a longer standing participant in international korfball, that pedigree is balanced by the professionalism that Thailand has brought to this tournament, both as the host and from an exciting, talented team that has grown steadily through a week of competition. Those were the telling factors and Thailand won the match by 15-8 to book their spot in the Korfball World Championship next year.
Hong Kong China, a participant at the previous three world championships, was intent on confirming their place in the 2023 edition. In the day’s second match, to determine the eighth and final qualifier from this tournament, Malaysia stood in their way. Both teams started tentatively before Hong Kong China discovered more shooting accuracy than they have found in the previous two days, and better parity in the rebound, managing to prevail, at last, with reasonable comfort by 17-6.
Next up, in the first semi final, New Zealand, fighting for a medal for the first time in an Asia Oceania Korfball Championship, took on the might of Chinese Taipei. Playing with greater intensity than they have so far this tournament, the long time champion took their game up a gear at critical points in the game, leaving New Zealand behind, to stroll into the final by 27-12. Despite losing this game, after starting the tournament as the sixth ranked participant, New Zealand will be content with a shot at the bronze medal.
In what promised to be the most interesting game of the day, Australia was determined to produce an upset against China, which is nine places higher on the IKF rankings. Although Australia pushed hard, and threatened a comeback late on, China established an early lead and was able to dictate terms from that point, winning by 22-17 to secure a place in the final and validate its IKF ranking.
Making their final appearance at this tournament, repeating a pool game they played on day three, Singapore and Philippines contested the day’s final game, battling for this tournament’s eleventh ranking. Both have made progress through the week, and to their credit, managed to finish with a competitive match, despite the intensity both have expended to this point. With a final score of 18-11 Philippines repeated their victory from three days ago, both teams marking an improvement from that 11-8 win.
DAY 5 REVIEW (2/12/2022) – 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 5 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
DAY 4 REVIEW (1/12/2022)
DAY 4 REVIEW (1/12/2022) – By Rob Smith
Today’s Asia Oceania Korfball Championship matches established the top four, who have all now qualifed for the 2023 Korfball World Championship. Outside those places, a further four will also receive the invitation, and none of the remaining eight in Pattaya City are yet excluded as the last three days will determine their success, or otherwise.
Hong Kong China and New Zealand have been close korfball rivals for many years. Today’s first match, setting the two against each other, was the final pool game for each and would determine which progressed to this tournament’s top four. Both defended with great determination, though struggled to overcome the tension of the occasion when on the attack. Goals were difficult to come by, particularly in the first half. Eventually New Zealand’s rebounding superiority was reflected on the scoreboard, establishing a lead that they preserved with focus and careful clock management. The 11-7 result means they will play for the medals and have assured qualification to the world champs, while Hong Kong China, which currently has a superior IKF ranking to New Zealand, will fight for fifth place at best in the crossover games.
Thailand and Malaysia featured in the day’s second match, with the host still in search of their first win. Two even teams, showing their athleticism, determination and korfball skills in advance of their relative inexperience, they have both been an asset to this tournament. However, once again scoring was slow as the tension threatened to overwhelm the players. However, Thailand established a lead that they never gave up, albeit that Malaysia fought back to one goal down and threatened to force golden goal at the end. Unlike their last second victory over India, this time Malaysia was not able to come through for a win, giving Thailand their first ‘W’ of the week, and their first ever victory in an international tournament match, by 9-8, which elevated them above Malaysia in the pool standings on the basis of this result for an easier path to the top eight.
Singapore is also without a win, with perhaps their best opportunity so far in the day’s third game, where they took on Indonesia. While world championship qualification is still an opportunity for both these teams, they will need to make significant improvements in the coming days to bring that about. Indonesia showed the most benefit from the lessons of the past three days, taking their second win of the tournament 10-6.
In the next match, two of the higher ranked teams, Japan and Australia, faced off. With their longer korfball pedigree, Australia was determined to put yesterday’s Pool A loss to Chinese Taipei behind them, and confirm their place in the top four. They duly built an advantage on the scoreboard that Japan never looked likely to threaten, winning by 15-7 to confirm they will also have a rest day tomorrow ahead of the crossover games, where they will contest the medals, and like their Oceania neighbour has now qualified for the 2023 world championship,while Japan still has further work if they are to take one of the remaining qualification positions.
Chinese Taipei met India in the day’s fifth game. After a relatively low scoring first half, the defending champion put on an exhibition for the spectators, and issued a strident warning to the other teams that will contest the medals, escalating the score rapidly to give India their harshest reminder thus far on their return that international korfball has progressed since they have been away. Final score: 36-11, which was immaterial in terms of next year’s world championship qualification since Chinese Taipei qualify automatically as the host.
Having already won Pool B, China met Phillipines to complete the day’s matches, and the round robin section of the tournament. The game was never in doubt and the world’s number four ranked korfball nation prevailed comfortably by 24-7. China has also sealed qualification.
The top four will sit out tomorrow’s play ahead of semi finals on Saturday, while the other eight teams play crossover games to narrow down which will finish ranked between five and eight and therefore book trips to Chinese Taipei next year.
DAY 4 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
DAY 3 REVIEW (30/11/2022)
DAY 3 REVIEW (30/11/2022) – By Rob Smith
Day three’s first match was contested by New Zealand and Indonesia. New Zealand played efficiently, scoring regularly, while defending impressively to keep their opponent scoreless, the first time a team at this tournament has ended the game with zero goals, for a 26-0 result.
Hong Kong China played with spirit in the next match, though were unable to stay close to China, who kept an even tempo, albeit relatively low scoring, to comfortably prevail by 14-8, making it near certain they will win Pool B, and setting up the Hong Kong China versus New Zealand match tomorrow as the decider for the other semi final position from that side of the draw.
After the two teams concerned experienced heartbreak and heroics respectively against India yesterday, the next match, between Japan and Malaysia, was crucial for the prospects of each. Malaysia fell short of the intensity they brought yesterday, while for Japan their loss firmed their resolve. Neither team could really gain any scoring rhythm, and the tournament’s lowest scoring game so far ended with Japan the victor by 11-4.
Unbeaten in Pool A, and now near certain to advance to the medal matches, Chinese Taipei and Australia was the next game. World third ranked Chinese Taipei has not lost to 13th ranked Australia for 16 years, and although most meetings between the two longest standing rivals at this tournament are genuine contests, this was not the day for Australia to break that streak. Once again they made Chinese Taipei work, though once again the Asian champion proved stronger, winning by 23-10.
India and Thailand were up next: India keen to move on from their final second loss yesterday afternoon, while despite some encouraging performances, the host has yet to record a win. Two of the most physical teams at the tournament, bringing all their commitment made for a game with several injury breaks, and defence generally on top at each end. Another low scoring game finished at 16-9 to India, meaning Thailand is still hunting its first win.
Also hunting their first win, though with one guaranteed to achieve it, Singapore and Philippines were next. A close contest played in good spirit saw both applying some of the lessons they have learnt over the first two days of the tournament up against the more experienced teams here. In the end Philippines was ahead by 11-8, to record their first win this week, and their first at this tournament, having lost every game at the previous Asia Oceania Korfball Championship, where they made their debut.
Appearing for the second time today in Pool B were both China and Indonesia in the day’s penultimate match. Both showed the effects of three games of international korfball over the preceding days in a match that never really took off, though China was able to keep their game opponent at bay, recording a 21-4 victory to remain unbeaten at the top of Pool B.
Also each playing their second game of the day, Chinese Taipei and Japan were today’s final contestants, the former comfortably maintaining their unbeaten run at this and all Asia Oceania tournaments for the past 16 years, underlining their position as favourite for another gold medal this week with a 22-9 victory.
Tomorrow’s games, rounding out pool play, promise to proceed with less certainty: several of the matchups are far less easy to predict than today’s eight games as final positions in the pool, and chances at qualification for next year’s World Korfball Championship are at stake for several teams. It promises to be an interesting day.
DAY 3 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
DAY 2 REVIEW (29/11/2022)
DAY 2 REVIEW (29/11/2022) – By Rob Smith
In the first match on day two of the 11th Asia Oceania Korfball Championship, Japan faced India. Japan was unable to match the uncompromising aggression of their opponent, falling behind from the start and never re-gaining enough ground, to finish the game in deficit at 10-15, A result that shows how close Pool A will be.
Australia and Malaysia were next to take the field, and as in their game yesterday, Australia started slowly before finding the measure of an athletic though relatively inexperienced opponent.
Thailand took on the Asian champion Chinese Taipei in the third game. Although the host team was not overawed by their decorated opponent, fighting to the end, the big difference in score was an accurate indication of the pedigree of the champion next to the inexperience of a nation playing at this level for the first time.
Hong Kong China and Indonesia was the first Pool B game of the day. This one also followed the form guide, with Indonesia working hard but falling short of a higher ranked opponent, for a final score of 18-6.
New Zealand has contested the past four editions of this tournament, three more than their opponent today, Philippines, and the final score reflected the gulf between the two: 27-8, the second time in two days that New Zealand has been in a game with 30 goals, this time on the positive side of the score line.
China and Singapore provided even more goals, though the match was the most one-sided so far. Again Singapore fought valiantly, though are unable to counter the craft, skill and strategy of more seasoned teams. China has been beaten start to the tournament continues, score: 41-2.
In complete contrast, India versus Malaysia was the closest game of the tournament so far. Malaysia managed to counter the fierce style of India, staying close in a low scoring game, that was decided in spectacular fashion with a final second effort by Eu Ginn Wong: an almost golden goal to break Indian hearts and put Malaysia in prime position for a top eight finish by 11-10.
Returning for the day’s final game, the hosts again put up a spirited performance against a much more experienced opponent, before suffering their third loss. This time it was Australia that defeated Thailand, recording a third victory in two days, this by 18-11, while their opponent has yet to win.
DAY 2 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
DAY 1 REVIEW (28/11/2022)
DAY 1 REVIEW (28/11/2022) – By Rob Smith
A record 12 teams are participating in the 11th Asia Oceania Korfball Tournament this week at the Eastern National Sports Training Center, Pattaya, Thailand.
For the pool matches, games are 32 minutes, packing eight games per day into the first three days of a heavy schedule.
In the tournament’s first game Singapore, in their first ever match at this level, was unable to compete with Hong Kong China, who won comfortably by 31-6.
China and New Zealand contested the second game, and after a competitive first quarter, the Asian giant, ranked fourth in the world, managed to assert their dominance over their Oceania opponent for a 23-12 victory.
Next up, also in Pool B, Indonesia and Philippines showed athleticism and purpose, though fewer goals than the first two matches, in a contest that ended with Indonesia prevailing by 11-6.
Australia took awhile to click into gear against India, which was playing for the first time in international korfball for several years. Due to this absence, India has fallen to the number 47 world ranking. Despite losing by 18-8 to Australia, India showed enough to suggest they will move back up once this tournament is completed and the year’s rankings are calculated.
After a colourful opening ceremony, where the athletes were welcomed by a troop of young traditional dance performers, Thailand and Japan took to the field. The host country, also playing at this level for the first time, showed their exciting potential in a keen and fiercely fought contest with Japan, which is ranked at number 16 in the world, 18 places above Thailand. Although Japan notched a 16-12 win, Thailand reinforced the belief that they will also contest a top eight place at this tournament.
Malaysia and the defending Asia Oceania champion Chinese Taipei were the final two teams to make their first appearance for the week, playing an entertaining game that featured an athletic effort by a fresh Malaysian team, showing that, if they can find their shooting range, they will trouble several of the more highly ranked teams this week. Nevertheless, the world number three was never in doubt for the win, taking it out by 20-5.
Back into action for the second time in a long day, New Zealand eased to their first win of the tournament, overpowering Singapore by 23-1. New Zealand’s female players accounted for over half the team’s goals, and with two heavy losses, Singapore’s first day in international korfball should prove a big learning curve.
Also back for their second game of the tournament, Hong Kong China and Philippines finished off the day. Hong Kong China again proving too strong for a less experienced rival, again making a strong start, and only easing up on their rival towards the end in a game that finished 16-6.
DAY 1 IMAGE GALLERY RECAP (by Krit Suttipithuk)
LIVE STREAMS, RESULTS & SOCIAL MEDIA
HOW TO FOLLOW
The official profiles of IKF Asia on Facebook, Instagram and Yotube will try to provide as many images, videos and information as possible from this tournament.
All teams, participants and fans can join the conversation and share their content and support using the hashtag #AOKC2022 and #korfball.
IKF Asia profiles – @IKFasia:
You can also follow the event on IKF’s main channels:
PRESS CONFERENCE (22/11/2022)
The qualified countries from Europe and Africa are already known after the 4 tournaments played during the last months: the AAKC North-West and South and the EU WKC Q-A & Q-B.
The other qualifying event still to be played togeher with this AOKC is the Pan-American Korfball Championship, that will take place in Buenos Aires at the end of December.
The Eastern National Sports Training Center in Pattaya is ready to host this exciting championship, that can be followed live on www.worldkorfball.sport (more info and links below)
Event information can be found here: https://korfball.sport/event/ikf-asia-oceania-korfball-championship-2022/