The Indian Railways kabaddi teams retained their national honours by defeating Himachal Pradesh (women) and Services (men) in the respective final matches of the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championship held at Jaipur's Poornima University in Rajasthan.
The women's final kicked off as Railways' skipper Payel Chowdhury notched a couple of points while Sonali Shingate's 2-pointer raid led the side to gain a notable lead of five points. Railways got their first all-out in the 12th minute but Himachal Pradesh came back strong as the half-time score read 16-15 with just a single point deficit for the latter.
As Pinki Roy (Railways) executed a brilliant super tackle against Jyoti, the latter, along with Pushpa, managed to inflict an all-out against the defending champions. However, Shingate kept her nerve intact to gain a Super-10 in the 27th minute. Skipper Chowdhury's super-raid turned the clash for Railways as they consolidated the lead till the end. Nidhi Sharma's late Super-10 went in vain as Railways went on to win the match with the scoreline 40-36.
The men's final between Indian Railways and Services was a low-scoring thriller as both teams went toe-to-toe in the summit clash. Services got off to a decent start - gaining a lead of six points and inflicting an early all-out within ten minutes of the match. Both teams went on to defensive mode, as the players from both ends raided on the third raid only. Services kept their lead intact as the half-time score read 17-11.
However, Pawan Sehrawat started to score points consistently in the second half, as the defending champions came back into the contest with an early all-out. Services' defensive line-up consisting of Sandeep Kandola and Surjeet Singh kept initiating tackles, while the duo of Pawan and Vikash kept scoring points from the other end. Kandola achieved his High-5 with seven minutes remaining in the contest.
As the single-point lead remained for Railways, Ravinder Pahal executed a brilliant double-thigh hold upon Naveen Kumar in the final minute to consolidate the win. As Rohit Gulia underwent an empty raid in the final 20 seconds, Railways retained their title and made it two in a row with the scoreline of 29-27 in the end.
67th Senior National Kabaddi Championship: Final Results (6th March)
Women's Final: Indian Railways defeated Himachal Pradesh 40-36
Men's Final: Indian Railways defeated Services 29-27
Gold: Indian Railways
Bronze: Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan
Gold: Indian Railways
Silver: Himachal Pradesh
Bronze: Jharkhand and Haryana