Indian men’s, women’s kabaddi teams reach finals


The Indian men’s kabaddi team thrashed arch-rival Pakistan 61-14 on Friday to take their designated place in the final of the Asian Games here after the shock bronze-medal finish in the 2018 edition in Jakarta.
The India women, the two-time former champions, too stormed into their fourth successive games final with a commanding 61-17 win over Nepal. Pakistan men were hardly a match for the nippy and technically superior Indian counterparts who took a massive 30-5 lead at the end of the first session, securing two bonus points along with the 22 and six points they earned through ‘outs’ and ‘all outs’ respectively.
Winners of seven consecutive gold medals at the continental showpiece, the Indian men’s team had suffered a shock semifinal loss to Iran at the Jakarta Games, making it the first time the big boys of the sport had failed to make it to the final since the sport was included in the curriculum in 1990.
India will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Iran and Chinese Taipei in the title round.
If the first half was a cakewalk for the Indian men, the second session too was fruitful with the raiders earning points at will and effecting more ‘all outs’.
Pawan Sehrawat played a key role in India dominating from the start and going on to inflict three ‘all outs’ in the match for the commanding win.
In the women’s section, the last edition’s runners-up faced little challenge from their rivals and led 29-10 at half time with Pooja Hathwala and Pushpa Rana spearheading the raids.
Overall, India inflicted five all-out in the match en route to making four out of four finals in the women’s kabaddi at the continental showpiece. For India, Jharkhand youngster Akshima who was making her Asian Games debut was also impressive, making successful raids and earning two touch points.