A year after getting demoted from the top division of the Challenge Cup of Asia, Kuwait has earned promotion thanks to a Division I tournament championship at home this past week.
The Challenge Cup of Asia is a two tournament even giving teams that don’t participate in many games during the hockey season. The top group, which was won by Chinese Taipei, features some of the stronger teams in Asian ice hockey that either play at the Division III World Championships or play very few, if any, games during the rest of the year. For Kuwait, who won a silver medal at the Gulf Cup in 2014, the victory proved to be a big one as their perfect 5-0 record helped earn them a spot in the top tournament for 2016. The title was the first for Kuwait since 2008, when the country took the only ever Arab Cup championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The real story of the tournament lied in the hearts of two non-contenders, Oman and India. For Oman, their two overtime victories over India and Malaysia were their first two wins outside of the Gulf Cup, giving them seven total wins in 20 games.
India, on the other hand, failed to grab a single win and had a goal-differential of 42. However, the fact that the team managed to get enough funds to even participate in the tournament in the first place was good enough for the country. The team only has a few months to practice during the year, so getting experience is very tough to come by in India.
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