India’s unchallenged domination in kabaddi seems to have ended. The Indian women’s kabaddi team in the summit clash at the Asian Games 2018, like the men’s team, choked against Iran and settled for silver. This is the first time the Indian women’s team has failed to win gold in kabaddi.
For the first time since 1990 when kabaddi became part of the Asian Games competition, Indian kabaddi teams have not bagged golden glory at the Asiad. The 18-27 loss of the men’s team and women’s 24-27 left many in tears, however, more hard-hitting is the end of the domination that dates back to the 1990s.
The Iranians played like champions and Indian players looked out of sorts. It was perhaps meant to happen given that Iran had lost only by a whisker in the 2014 men’s finals in Incheon.
Men’s Team Kabaddi
The Indian men’s team against mighty Iran looked clueless. The Indian team featuring some of the biggest names in the country like Rahul Chaudhary, Ajay Thakur, and Pradeep Narwal, but failed miserably.
The men’s team failed to learn after losing to South Korea in the league stages. The absence of Rohit Kumar might have added to the woes but the overall performance by the Asian powerhouse was nowhere the team is known for. The side got a bronze, a first for kabaddi.
Women’s Kabaddi Team
The men’s team defeat against Iran should have warned the women’s team ahead of the summit clash, but it seems the women’s team was also a victim of overconfidence.
During the match, it looked as if India had the upper hand at one stage but the Iranian defence held its nerve and made an incredible comeback to clinch gold.