The Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017 are currently underway in Gorgan, Iran and tournament favourites India have made a strong start to the competition. The men's side have been drawn into a group featuring Pakistan, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan, and were scheduled to play their first match against Iraq on Friday, while the remaining three were lined up for Saturday.
The Indian side defeated Iraq by a comfortable 61-21 margin while in their first game on Saturday, they thumped Afghanistan by a spectacular 103-25 scoreline.
They were scheduled to play Japan next at 4 PM IST but a senior official in the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India has confirmed that the match against Japan was preponed and was contested on Friday instead. Expectedly, the Indian team ran out comfortable winners in the end with an 82-16 scoreline.
Japan, who put up a strong showing in the 2016 World Cup last year and came quite close to defeating Iran, were blown out of the water by a dominant Indian side who won the match quite comfortably.
India will now face Pakistan on Saturday in their final group stage game and the winner between the two arch-rivals will top the group and take on the second-ranked team from the other pool. The match is scheduled to take place at 7 PM IST but the official has stated that there may be a change in the timings.
In the other group, Iran and South Korea have been battling it out for the top spot and it is the home side that is expected to finish in first place. They defeated Korea in a hard-fought encounter on Friday that ended 26-18 and in all probability will take on the losing side in the match between India and Pakistan in the semifinals.Published 25 Nov 2017, 14:08 IST