With an aim to defend their gold medal, Indian women produced a clinical performance to outwit hosts South Korea by 45-26 margin to enter the semi-finals of the Asian Games Kabaddi event at the Songdo Global University Gymnasium here today.
India, who beat Bangladesh 29-18 in their lung opener, trounced the Koreans after taking a commanding 27-10 half time lead. They thus topped the group en route their last four entry.
The Indians secured six points by packing off the entire Korean team thrice in the match, including twice in the opening half.
The bulk of their points, 32, came through touching or bundling out the rival players during raids or defending. They also got two bonus points for touching the bonus point line in the rival court.
The Koreans never really threatened the Indian women though late in the second half their raiders twice packed off two rival players.
For India, Mamatha was the dominant raider in the opening half along with captain Tejaswini Bai while Pooja Thakur also did her bit.
Korea’s Shin Somin suffered an ankle injury during a raid and had to be taken off the court. India await the runners-up of Group B in the semi finals scheduled for October 2.
India are serious contenders for the men’s gold too. The men have grabbed six straight gold medals since the sport’s inclusion in the 1990 Beijing Games.
Indian skipper Tejeswini said she expected a better fight from the host country’s women who are being coached by an Indian.
“Today’s match was one-sided, but Korea is a very good team that has trained under an Indian coach. We were expecting better fight from them,” she said.
Tejeswini hoped that kabaddi would become an Olympic sport in six years’ time to be included when the Games are held in Asia.
“Kabaddi has gained in popularity after the newly introduced Pro Kabaddi league for men. I am hoping that kabaddi gets its due as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan,” she said after India’s comprehensive win.
Indian women spikers continued to disappoint as they lost their 5th-8th place semi-final play-off against Kazakhstan by three straight sets in the
volleyball event at the Asian Games.
The Kazakh women won the contest 25-20 25-19 25-20 in only 69 minutes as India will now play in the 7th-8th place
India will play the loser of the encounter between Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei in the 7th-8th place play-off. For India, the only saving grace was Tiji Raju, who got 11 points with some good dinks and spikes.
The disappointment as far as India was concerned was young Anushree Ghosh, one of the tallest girls in the team standing at 6 ft 1 inch. She could bag only a solitary point for her team.
The performance of libero Priyanka Khedkar was also below par as most of the times, her anticipation skills were questionable as she was not in perfect position to retrieve the powerful smashes executed by Yelena Gordeyeva, who got 11 points for her country.
The two Anastassiyas –Kolomoyets and Rostovchshikova, who got seven points.
Indian paddlers enjoyed an all-win day at the Asian Games as country’s top doubles duo of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj reached the men’s doubles third round here today.
Amalraj and Kamal unexpectedly lost the first game before taming the Nepal’s Purshottam Bajracharya and Amar Lal Malla 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10.
The Indian pair, who got a bye in the opening round, took 22 minutes to defeat players from the Himalayan nation.
Also booking a third round berth in the men’s doubles was the pair of Harmeet Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh as they took just 15 minutes to disptach Yemen’s Omar Ahmed Ali and Mohammed Fahd Gubran 12-10, 11-5, 11-6.
In the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals, the combine of Amalraj and Madhurika Patkar rallied to beat Japan’s Seiya Kishikawa and Ai Fukuhara 5-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-4 in 26 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.
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