December 2, 2023

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Asian Video games: Kabaddi kerfuffle overshadows day as South Korea retain soccer crown

4 min read

The penultimate day of the Asian Video games was overshadowed by a controversial kabaddi last that was suspended for an hour on Saturday, as South Korea gained a 3rd males’s soccer title in a row.

The curtain comes down Sunday on the largest Asian Video games in historical past, boasting 12,000 athletes, after two weeks of competitors throughout 40 sports activities.

Saturday was probably the most action-packed of the fortnight, with gold medals up for grabs in 24 sports activities together with soccer, cricket, badminton, kabaddi, hockey and breakdancing.

India have surpassed all expectations by breaching the century mark of medals for the primary time.

It bodes effectively for the Paris Olympics, that are lower than 10 months away.

In early motion on a gray and soggy day in Hangzhou, India swept up two golds in archery and one other in ladies’s kabaddi.

However what ought to have been a day of celebration got here with a big dollop of controversy.

The lads’s kabaddi last towards Iran descended into chaos and was suspended, earlier than India lastly sealed the title.

Kabaddi is a tag-meets-rugby contact staff sport rooted in Indian mythology and stated up to now again 5,000 years.

A fascinating last was locked at 28-28 with simply over a minute left when India went on a “raid” for factors, with each groups claiming they need to get the choice.

That sparked a protracted video assessment, then a standoff and the suspension of the ultimate, as quite a few officers checked the footage and tried to make a ruling.

The motion in what was an eagerly anticipated showdown was placed on maintain as each groups at totally different factors appeared to refuse to play and argued their case.

Order was ultimately restored with the rating at 31-29 in India’s favour.

Iran reluctantly carried on however they had been deflated and shortly slumped to a 33-29 defeat.

Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani pointed the finger on the officers and in addition accused the Indian staff of placing strain on the referees.

“That is very unhealthy, very unhealthy for kabaddi,” he stated of the fractious scenes.

India additionally sealed males’s cricket gold in a equally anti-climactic vogue.

They had been declared winners of the ultimate towards Afghanistan below an Asian Video games-specific rule the place the higher-ranked staff takes the honours if the match can’t be completed, on this case as a consequence of rain.

India reached the top of the day with 107 medals in complete, 28 of these gold.

However they are going to end a great distance behind China within the last medals desk. The hosts are effectively forward of the remaining with 382 medals, 200 of them gold.

Within the males’s soccer last, Paris Saint-Germain star Lee Kang-in helped South Korea win gold for the third time in a row — and earn a army exemption.

South Korea recovered from going a objective down after solely two minutes to beat Japan 2-1.

Cho Younger-wook scored the winner within the second half in a contest that includes under-24 squads plus three overage gamers.

Practically each able-bodied South Korean male is required to carry out at the very least 18 months of service, however the authorities rewards Asian Video games gold medals and Olympic medals of any color with an exemption.

The primary medals in Asian Video games historical past had been at stake in breakdancing, forward of creating one other landmark debut at subsequent 12 months’s Paris Video games.

The history-makers had been Japan’s Shigeyuki Nakarai in successful the boys’s crown whereas Liu Qingyi of China triumphed within the ladies’s class.

It additionally earned them every a spot in Paris.

“After I began breaking, no one imagined it will be a part of an Olympics,” stated Nakarai.

Badminton world primary An Se-young beat China’s Chen Yufei over three gruelling video games to win gold and add one other title to her beautiful breakout 12 months.

“I could not be happier. It is taken me 5 years of preparation to be right here,” stated An.

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