Asian Games 2018: Women's Kabaddi Finals, India v Iran - 5 Talking Points
The Iranian women took a leaf out of the men's kabaddi teams' book as they overcame a stiff challenge from the Indian women in the summit clash of the 2018 Asian Games to win 27-24 and claim the gold medal, triggering wild celebrations in the Iranian camp present at the Theatre Garuda, Indonesia.
The Indian women came into the contest with a lot of confidence, having got the better of the Chinese Taipei by a big margin in the semifinals. Against an upbeat Iran side, the battle was certain to give way for some fireworks and that is exactly what transpired on the mat, as the two teams dealt a blow for blow but in the end -- the Iranians claimed the honors.
As the two teams jogged onto the mat prior to the start of the contest, the stadium buzzed with enthusiasm as a full house watched on alongside the Indian and Iranian men's team, who backed their team right from start till the end.
The Indian eves started strong and raced away to a 6-2 lead but the Iranians came back to go into the second half with just a two-point deficit. In the second half, the Iranians clawed their way back into the contest and also went on to amass points at a lively rate. This piled the pressure on the Indian eves from which they could not recover, much to the dismay of the Indian camp highlighted by a teary-eyed Ajay Thakur, who could not believe what had transpired on the mat.
While it was indeed a tale of two halves, there were some big moments all through the match. Here are the talking points from today's encounter.
#5 Indecisive tackling from the Indian defenders
The Indian defenders, led by Sakshi Kumari on the right corner, enjoyed a fantastic run leading to the finals but that spark in the defense unit went missing in the grand finale, hurting the Indians' surge towards victory.
Sakshi Kumari, one of the best defenders in the tournament, looked off color and did not put in as many tackles as she would like. To add to the misery, the combination of the right corner and the right cover was targetted too often and gifted easy points to the Iranians.
Even in the last minute of the game, on the Iranian DO OR DIE raid, the Indian defenders granted the Iranian raider acres of space to pick the bonus point which took Iran's lead to two points and also saw them win the match from there.