Qatar qualified for the semi-finals at the Asian Men's Handball Championship ©AHF

Holders Qatar made it to the semi-finals of the Asian Men's Handball Championship by beating Iran in Kuwait.

The winners of the last three editions cannot be dislodged from the top two in Group Two, after their 31-25 win at Shaikh Saad Al-Abdullah Sports Hall Complex.

Iran move to a record of one win and one defeat after beating Kuwait yesterday.

There was further disappointment for the hosts today, as record nine-time winners South Korea saw off the Kuwaitis 34-27.

The Koreans, beaten by Qatar yesterday, are hoping to win the tournament for the first time since 2012.

Kuwait are now out.

Elsewhere, Japan made it two victories from two in Group One by beating perennial runners-up Bahrain.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic hosts edged a tight encounter 25-23 to move to the brink of the last four.

It means the two-time winners have backed up their opening Group One success over Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Japan won the first two editions of the Asian Championship, held in 1977 and 1979, but have not triumphed since then.

Japan beat Iran to record a second victory ©AHF
Japan beat Iran to record a second victory ©AHF

Bahrain, who beat the United Arab Emirates yesterday, have finished runners-up at four of the last five tournaments, and have never won gold.

They lost all of the last three finals to Qatar.

In the other Group One game, UAE defeated Saudi Arabia 23-20.

After a rest day tomorrow, the main round will continue on Thursday (January 23).

In Group One, Japan will play UAE with Bahrain taking on Saudi Arabia.

Qatar meet Kuwait in Group Two and South Korea play Iran.

The top two sides in each group go through to the semi-finals, and also book their spot at the 2021 Men's World Championship in Egypt.