The Indian women start their campaign at the Asian Games with the Handball event commencing on 14th August at the POPKI Sports Hall, Jakarta, at 10:00 am IST.
The Indian Women's handball team is in Group A of the Qualification round, clubbed with 4 other teams, namely South Korea, Kazakhstan, China, and North Korea.
India did not participate in the 2017 Asian Championships. While back at the 2015 Championships, they had lost all their group matches against South Korea, Iran, and Japan. In the playoffs, they lost to Uzbekistan but eventually defeated Hong Kong to finish 7th out of 9 nations.
At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, India lost to South Korea and China but drew against Thailand in the Group games. They also lost the classification match against Uzbekistan and a close encounter against Thailand to finish at the 8th position out of 9 nations. South Korea won the 2015 and 2017 Asian Championships, with China finishing 3rd and Kazakhstan 4th on both occasions. North Korea had not participated in both the events.
South Korea are the favourites to take the crown with a world ranking of 10, followed by Japan (13), China (20), and Kazakhstan (36).
Therefore, India's chances are slim as they are expected to go down after a spirited performance against South Korea, Kazakhstan, and China. If they can defeat the North Koreans who are going to be the wild cards of an unknown quality, then it would be correct to expect a top 8 finish.
To conclude, as far as India's chances in the Women's Handball event at the 2018 Asian games are concerned, they are expected to finish fourth in the Qualification group and fight off for the classifications for 5-8th positions against China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. If India wins against Hong Kong and Thailand, they are expected to clinch the 6th spot which would be a new achievement for the Indian Women's Handball Team.
Where do you think the Indian Women's handball team will at the 2018 Asian Games? Do let us know in the comments section below.