By Abdellatif Sharaa

KUWAIT: The 38th Gulf Handball Cup winners tournament kicked off on Saturday at Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah halls complex with the host (Kuwait sports club) beating Muscat team 28-18. Earlier matches saw Al-Ahli (Qatar) beat Al-Jazeera (UAE) 28-26. Both matches are from the first group. In the second group, Mudar Club (Saudi Arabia) defeated Kuwait's Salmiya Club 26-21.

Kuwait and Mudar clubs goal keepers were instrumental in securing the wins. Hassan Safar and Abdelmalek Salahji were awarded best player of the match in recognition of their efforts. On Monday, the third round of the preliminaries will feature Oman vs UAE's Aljazeera at 5:00 pm. This will be followed by a match between Bahrain's Al-Najma and Saudi Arabia's Mudar.

Kuwait players celebrate

Seewan retires

The first day of the tournament was marked with the official pronouncement of retirement of National team player Hussein Seewan, who retired after 20 years on the court. He won many tournaments while playing for Sulaibkhat, Qurain, Kuwait, Arabi, Qadisiya, Salmiya and Burgan. He also played for Al-Sadd from Qatar.

The retirement match was under the patronage of Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Ahmad Al-Shuhoumi who was present along with Director General of Public Authority for Sport Dr Humoud Fulaiteh and Kuwait Club Chairman Khalid Al-Ghanim. Al-Shuhoumi lauded the performance of Hussein Seewan.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Kuwait Sports Club Khalid Al-Ghanim welcomed the participating teams in Kuwait. "We are extremely happy with this gathering and we wish them all good luck," he said. Al-Ghanim said Kuwait Club handball team aims at winning the gulf tournament despite the significant competition.