South Asian Games 2019: Indian men's Kabaddi team wins gold for the 10th time
The Indian men's Kabaddi team clinched a gold medal at the South Asian Games 2019 after they defeated Sri Lanka 51-18 in the final match. It is the 10th gold medal for the Indian team at the South Asian Games, having won in all the editions except in 1993. Sri Lanka won its first silver medal in Kabaddi at the South Asian Games, having won two bronze medals earlier.
The experienced Indian side played the role of a huge hurdle in front of the Sri Lankan Team as Pawan Sehrawat started the proceedings of the match with touch and bonus points in the very first minute of the match. He was then joined by Naveen Kumar, who went on to rake points as Indian inflicted the first all out on the opponents within the first 10 minutes. The second all-out came within six minutes, as India kept their lead in the first half to lead 28-11 at half time.
Nitesh Kumar and Vishal Bharadwaj, playing in the two corners, went on to keep the Sri Lankan raiders from scoring points. Bharadwaj also helped the Indian team save an all-out on themselves as he picked up a touchpoint after India were reduced to three men on the mat. Pardeep Narwal was brought onto the mat in the final five minutes of the match. The Haryana raider went on to grab quick points as India picked up a third all out on the Lankans, to pick up a huge 33-point win and their 10th gold medal in Kabaddi at the South Asian Games.
India had entered the tournament as the favorites with a star team. The newly revamped team led by Deepak Niwas Hooda won all their preliminary matches with a strong attack from Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Naveen Kumar, Naveen Kumar, and Vikash Khandola.
Points scored in the match by Indian players:
Naveen Kumar - 11 raid points in 14 raids
Pawan Sehrawat - 9 points
Vishal Bharadwaj - 4 points
The Sri Lankan team won their first silver medal for Kabaddi at the South Asian Games. They had earlier won bronze medals in 1999 and 2016