Too bad for India as Iran wins Asian Games kabaddi gold
JAKARTA, Indonesia — In what would have been unthinkable in India before the Asian Games, there’ll be no kabaddi gold medals for the spiritual home of the sport.
A day after Iran stunned the seven-time champion Indian men in the semifinals, the Iranians won the women’s title with a 27-24 thriller over India on Friday.
Too bad for India, which has long dominated a sport that blends tag and tackle with wrestling moves.
The Indian women took an early 7-3 lead but Iran rallied to take 17-13 lead and eventually held on for victory.
The Iranian men were playing for gold against South Korea later Friday. The Koreans in the group stage became the first team ever to beat India’s men’s team at the Asian Games. This is the first time since the sport was introduced in 1990 that India won’t win a gold.
The sixth day of competition was expected to be headlined by Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee and her bid for a sixth gold medal, and a record-equaling eighth medal at a single Asian Games.
Ikee led qualifiers in the heats of the women’s 50-meter freestyle.
China’s three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang was aiming for his fourth freestyle gold medal of the games, hoping to add the 1,500 title to his victories in the 200, 400 and 800.
In other early finals, Jessa Khan won Cambodia’s first gold medal of the games with a win over Mahra Alhinaai of the United Arab Emirates in the women’s ju-jitsu 49-kilogram class.
Kim Hyo Sim won North Korea’s fifth gold medal in weightlifting with victory in the women’s 63-kilogram division.
Kim collected gold with a total of 250 kilograms, well clear of fellow North Korean Choe Hyo Sim, who was a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 world championships.
With China barred from the weightlifting competition for doping violations, the North Koreans are atop the standings in the sport.
The first doping case of the Jakarta-Palembang games was registered against a wrestler from Turkmenistan. The Olympic Council of Asia said Rustem Nazarov, who lost in the quarterfinals of the 57-kilogram division, was disqualified from the games after testing positive for the banned diuretic furosemide in a test on the eve of the opening ceremony.
There were six doping cases at the last Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.
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