Asia and Oceania countries for Durban 2019 known
After the cross final games of the Asia Oceania Korfball Championships 2018 in Japan it is known which countries from these continents qualify for the 2019 World Korfball Championships in Durban, South Africa.
With the Asia Oceania Korfball Championships hosting ten countries, six countries from the two continents are allowed to qualify, with at least one from Oceania. After the group phase, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Australia are already qualified as they are to play for the top four places in the final ranking. With New Zealand beating Korea and Japan beating Macau, these two countries also qualify for the 2019 World Korfball Championships. For New Zealand it's their first qualification ever. Japan is present during the 1999 and 2003 World Championships, making it sixteen years since they last play on the world level.
With the previous qualification of Surinam and Dominican Republic in March as the PanAm representatives and South Africa and Zimbabwe and two best countries out of three from Africa, half of the countries qualifying for Durban in 2019 are known. The last ten will come from the European Korfball Championships taking place in The Netherlands in October 2018.
So far the Asia Oceania Korfball Championships go well without surprises. As expected the final goes between China and Taiwan. That Australia and Hong Kong play for the bronze is also as expected, looking at their recent performances during the 2017 World Games and last month's U21 World Korfball Championships. New Zealand faces a minor setback on the first day as they lose from Japan by one goal after having been ahead most of the game. For their final result it is without consequence, as they still reach the final game for sixth place and qualify for the World Korfball Championships.
As for players to follow during the Asia Oceania Korfball Championships, Taiwan of course has our Korfball Hero Ya-Wen Lin, as well as Szu-Yu Lin from the 2017 Korfball World Squad and Shu-Chi Chang and the twin brothers Tzu-Shun and Tzu-Yao Huang from the 2018 U21 Korfball World Squad. China has Zhao Jing from the 2017 Korfball World Squad, as well as Yuran Fu and Linpeng Zhu from the 2018 U21 Korfball World Squad. Australia sadly misses our Korfball Hero Ashlee Othen due to university obligations. We look forward to seeing her next year again in Durban. Veteran Jessica May is there though, still making a difference for the Australian squad.