Jakarta: Iran hurt India’s pride in kabaddi yet again as it delivered a second straight knockout punch to the sport’s most successful nation in the women’s gold medal match of the 18th Asian Games here today.
The two-time defending champions were shocked 24-27 in a thrilling final as the firm favourites settled for silver. India’s raiders disappointed in the title clash as Iran came from behind to jolt them in the second half. The Iranian women emulated thus their male counterparts, who had shocked seven-time champions India in the semifinals yesterday.
Payel and Sonali were effective with their raids while the defenders also handled the tackles well as the Indians raced to a 7-3 lead. The most dangerous looking Iranian was Azadeh Saidisiahbidi but she was forced out after a successful tackle.
Randeep Kaur went for a raid after Iran’s two-point raid but she was unsuccessful as Iran gradually reduced the deficit to 6-7. Randeep though made amends in the next attempt with a two-point raid, pushing India ahead 13-8.
Azadeh touched out Ritu and Manpreet and captain Payel was caught by the Iranian defenders as India led 13-11 at the of first half. Iran scored six points in a row to race to a 17-13 lead with an all out. With just two minutes to go, Sakshi Kumari earned two points with a successful raid to make it 24-25 but Iranians held their nerves to prevail.