Friday, May 21, 2010
IHF Super Globe 2010
We went to the International Handball Federation Super Globe 2010 competition. We had never seen a live game of handball, and I really wanted to because I don't know of many opportunities to attend in the US. Plus, tickets were super cheap. It seems that the government must subsidize visiting athletic competitions because Doha hosts quite a few various competitions, and tickets are very affordable. In January, we missed out on seeing the top tennis players in the Qatar Exxon-Mobile Open because we didn't jump on it when we first heard about it. However, we did witness part of the Tour of Qatar (cycling) in February. Winters are very mild here, so they set up the Tour of Qatar as an early event in the pro-cycling season. Currently, Qatar is bidding to host the World Cup in 2022.
Anyway, handball was rather interesting. I would describe it as a cross between basketball and soccer. We went to the semi-final matches and watched Spain v. Lebanon and Qatar v. Egypt. Spain won the whole tournament, but the Qatar v. Egypt match was rather intense. Naturally, there was a hometown crowd, but Egypt was also well represented because of the large number of Egyptians working here. However, the teams were not completely "ethnically pure." I assumed the Qatar team would be fielded by Qataris, and so on. Instead, there were players from multiple ethnicities on all the teams - quite a few Eastern Europeans, as evidenced by names ending in -vic.