Eight teams, representing different regions and cities from across the country, participated, with GBAO, Dushanbe and Khatlon fielding two teams each in the competition which saw an initial wo preliminary groups of four teams each before semi-finals and a final.
On the eve of the competition the draw for the groups took place with the HFT President Muhammad-Farid Mirzokhodiev overseeing it, assisted by Abdullo Mahmadalizoda – Representative of the Committee on Youth Affairs and Sports under the Government of Tajikistan, Momajoni Nurali – Chief Secretary of the Championship, and the 16 coaches from the participating teams.
Games got underway after a televised opening ceremony on TV channel Varzish Sport, which was attended by Nazarzoda Rizo Shodi – Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Youth Affairs and Sports under the Government of Tajikistan and President Mirzokhodiev alongside other officials.
Despite being held 25:25 in their second group game by GBAO 1, Dushanbe 1 won their two other group games and then a semi-final match against Khatlon 1 (36:24). The final was a repeat of their opening group game, against GBAO 2 which Dushanbe had squeezed a 33:32 win and in the gold medal match the difference was higher as they ran out 12-goal winners (38:26).
Zardonov Saidabror (Dushanbe 1) was voted as the best player of the championship.
“Conducting such competitions as this contribute to strengthening friendship and unity, and, of course, helps us find the best players to set up a strong national team,” said Mirzokhodiev.
“We have talented young people in most of the districts and cities in our country who have high potential to become good handball players, but as the HFT was only established in 2002, we have not developed enough to have handball teams and trainers everywhere.
“However, with support from the Tajik government and International Handball Federation this beautiful game will develop all over the country in near future, including beach handball, which does not currently exist in our country but, in partnership with the IHF and other handball friends, we will do our best to introduce and develop it.”
Preliminary Round Groups
Group A: GBAO 1, GBAO 2, Dushanbe 1, Khatlon 2
Monday 15 April
GBAO 1 vs Khatlon 2 37:11
Khatlon 1 vs Dushanbe 2 24:28
GBAO 2 vs Dushanbe 1 32:33
Tuesday 16 April
GBAO 1 vs Dushanbe 1 25:25
Khatlon 1 vs Sughd 30:19
GBAO 2 vs Khatlon 2 26:18
Wednesday 17 April
Sughd vs Dushanbe 2 17:31
GBAO 1 vs GBAO 2 27:28
Dushanbe 1 vs Khatlon 2 38:9
Thursday 18 April
Dushanbe 1 vs Khatlon 1 36:24
Friday 19 April
Bronze Medal Match
GBAO 2 vs Dushanbe 1 26:38
Photos: Handball Federation of Tajikistan (HFT)