The 69th Senior National Women's Kabaddi Championship came to an end with the hosts Haryana defeating the former champions Himachal Pradesh in the summit clash to win the gold medal. The matches took place in Mahendragarh, Haryana, from 23rd to 26th March 2023.
Priyanka, the captain of the gold-winning Indian women's team at the 2019 South Asian Games, led the Haryana women's team as their captain. Haryana finally became champions after finishing as the runners-up five times in the last nine editions. Pooja was the breakout star for the team in the raiding department, who played a crucial role for Haryana in winning the national honours.
Himachal Pradesh started with a brilliant all-out within the first five minutes of the match, with the scores being 14-0. Jharkhand scored their first point after six minutes of the encounter. Pushpa Rana and Dimple kept scoring points in the offence consistently, as Himachal Pradesh led the first half by 22-7.
Jharkhand kept losing points in the defence in the second half as well, as Himachal Pradesh kept their lead intact and consolidated their spot in the Final with a notable 49-20 victory in Semi-final 1.
In the second semi-final, Pooja (Haryana) and Nidhi (Rajasthan) started on a positive note and kept the scoreboard ticking with each successive raid, with the scores being equal within the first eight minutes of the match. Haryana's massive super tackle over Sakshi Kumari and a stunning 2-point raid by Pooja helped Haryana lead the first half by 3 points against Rajasthan 17-14.
Haryana inflicted the first all-out of the match and extended the lead by five points within the first two minutes of the second half. Rajasthan couldn't get back into the match as the defence kept leaking points. On the other hand, Nidhi and Prachi Beniwal kept scoring raid points for the former bronze medalists. However, Pooja's magnificent Super 10 helped Haryana book their place in the Final for the first time since 2019.
The final began with Pooja scoring a crucial touchpoint over Pushpa Rana to start the proceedings for the hosts. Pushpa then equalized the score with a 2-point raid as both teams kept scoring points in the offence consistently. The finalists continued to trade blows in what was a neck-to-neck contest in the first half as the score read 15-14 in favour of the defending champions.
Haryana inflicted the first all-out of the Final as the hosts took an early 4-point lead right at the beginning of the second half. Pushpa and Jyoti tried their level best to bounce back into the contest, however, Haryana's defence pulled off some incredible tackles in the end as the hosts won the Final by 7 points.
69th Senior National Women’s Kabaddi Championship, Semi-final results:
Semi-final 1: Himachal Pradesh beat Jharkhand 49-20
Semi-final 2: Haryana beat Rajasthan 34-33
69th Senior National Women’s Kabaddi Championship, Final result:
Final: Haryana beat Himachal Pradesh 35-28
69th Senior National Women's Kabaddi Championship Medalists:
Silver: Himachal Pradesh
Bronze: Jharkhand & Rajasthan
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