Kabaddi was first introduced to Asian Games in its 11th edition in the 1990 Beijing Games. However, it took another 20 years for the women’s Kabaddi event to be included in the multi-sporting event.
Venue and Schedule
Asian Games 2018 Kabaddi event will be played from August 19 to August 24 at the Theater Garuda Taman Mini Indonesia Indah(TMII), Jakarta.
Like previous years, the games will witness two events- the men’s team event and the women’s team event.
In both categories, teams are divided into two groups with two teams from each group making cut to the semi-final.
Asian Games 2018 Kabaddi Teams
Apart from the hosts Indonesia, 11 nations will be contesting in the men's Kabaddi event. These nations are- India, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
In the women’s category, nine teams- Indonesia (Hosts), India, Bangladesh, Iran, Chinese Taipei, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand - will fight for the glory. The 2018 Asian Games will witness the highest number of teams participating in the game.
Defending Kabaddi Asian Games Champions
Since the inclusion of the Kabaddi in the Asian Games, India has completely dominated the men's event, winning all seven gold medals in seven editions. India’s unhindered domination as such that Indians have not lost a single Kabaddi match in the Asian Games since 1990.
In the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, India was trailing by eight points at the end of first 20 minutes in the final against Iran. As the second half started, Indians showed their agility and experience to script an outstanding late comeback to defeat the West Asian team 27-25 in a nail-biting final.
In the women's category, India successfully defended its gold medal with a dominating victory over the same opponent in the final. The women's team beat Iran by 31-21 to complete the golden double.
Favourites for Asian Games 2018 Kabaddi
Considering its dominant performance in recently-concluded Dubai Kabaddi Masters 2018, Indian men’s team will be the clear favourite to bag their eighth straight gold medal in the Asian Games. India won all six matches in the inaugural Dubai Masters which included their Asian Games opponents like Iran, Pakistan and South Korea. Also, players like Monu Goyat, Rishank Devadiga, Sandeep Narwal and skipper Ajay Thakur are having a purple patch in recent months.
After their comprehensive victory in Asian Kabaddi Championship in November 2017, India's women will be holding the edge for capturing the third straight gold medal in the Asiad. Although exclusion of star player Abhilasha Mhatre raised several eyebrows, India is expected to win the yellow metal in Jakarta.