Asian Games 2018: now, India loses to Iran in women’s kabaddi too

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Asian Games 2018: now, India loses to Iran in women’s kabaddi too

Prevail 27-24 in the summit clash; men make it a double

Indian kabaddi would return from Jakarta without a gold for the first time since the sport was introduced at the Asian Games in 1990. On Friday, the women went down fighting 27-24 to Iran in the final, who stamped their authority by lifting the men’s title as well.

Like the men in the semifinals, the women went into a comfortable lead early on, only to stumble and falter in the second half despite a vociferous crowd egging them on.

Unlike the men, however, there was a lot more fight from the Payel Chowdhury-led team who managed to cut down Iran’s four-point lead to one in the final minute of the game with an impressive raid by the captain.

Payel, along with Randeep Kaur, was the key raider for the side, managing to keep the team within striking distance all through.

Disappointing

What let the team down were stray mistakes from the defenders who went too early for a hold but ended up conceding points. In a tight match, the little mistakes cost high.

Away from the spotlight and glitz of the PKL, the women’s team came into its own here, cheered by a sporting men’s side that screamed its support all through. For once, the superstars were left standing in the shadows.

“It is disappointing to miss the gold. It was a close fight but now we will go back and focus on our mistakes here, sort it out and come back stronger,” a teary-eyed Payel said.

India had won both the previous editions since women’s kabaddi was included in Asian Games in 2010.

Coach Srinivas Reddy took responsibility of the loss, shielding his players.

“As the coach, I must take responsibility for our loss. Our team is good and tried their best, fought till the very end. One team has to win and today it was their day. I am proud of my girls nevertheless,” he added.

In the men’s final, Iran demolished Korea 26-16 for gold.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)

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