Indian kabaddi fans had much to rejoice on Sunday as both the men’s and women’s kabaddi teams emerged victors in the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2017 held at Gorgan in Iran. The men fought off Pakistan’s challenge in the final to secure a 36-22 victory and the women’s team won comprehensively against South Korea with a 42-20 score line.
The men’s charge was led by Tamil Thalaivas’ Ajay Thakur, who proved his abilities as a world class raider once again and stamped his authority over the tournament. In the final match against Pakistan as well, he was in prime form as he demolished the opposition’s defensive line with his quick raids. He was ably supported by Maninder Singh and Dubki King Pardeep Narwal in the attack as the raiding trio had the Pakistan tacklers in all sorts of trouble throughout the match. Haryana Steelers skipper Surender Nada brought his experience into play as well and put in a clinical performance to keep the Pakistan raiders at bay.
The other corner was manned by Puneri Paltan’s aggressive all-rounder Sandeep Narwal, who made a case for himself after an impressive display in the initial stages of the tournament. He replaced Nada’s usual partner Mohit Chhillar and managed to use his strength to good effect against the opposition raiders. At the end of the day, the Pakistan players were thoroughly outclassed by the Indians and had to settle for the runners up position, losing the finals by a 14-point margin.
In the other final of the day, the Indian women’s team, coached by Banani Saha, put in a strong performance to easily overcome South Korea.
After an aggressive start, the Indian team held onto the advantage and put the South Koreans under pressure. The Korean tacklers tried a number of advanced tackles to try and stop the Indian raiders but it worked to the Indians’ advantage as they increased their lead to 19-12 at half time.
The second half saw the Indian team take complete control of the game as they raced away to a 22-point victory.