The Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023 final took place on Friday at the Dong-Eui Institute of Technology Seokdang Cultural Centre in Busan, Republic of Korea, with India defeating Iran 42–32. In nine editions, this was India’s eighth victory. With a fantastic 10, Indian captain Pawan Sehrawat took the initiative and took his team to the title.
In the opening five minutes of the match, the Indian men’s kabaddi team was down to Iran. However, in the 10th minute of play, Iran was forced to go all-out after a few tackle points by the defense and successful raids by Pawan Sehrawat and Aslam Inamdar. As they gained momentum, the Indian kabaddi team quickly increased their lead while putting up an outstanding all-around performance. Iran received a few easy bonus points against India, the reigning champions, but in the 19th minute, India imposed a second all-out on Iran.
India’s next big challenge would be at the upcoming Asian Games
India held a 23-11 advantage going into the second half. However, Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh, the captain of Iran, helped in imposing the first all-out on India in the 29th minute with a two-point raid and a super raid. With two minutes remaining, Iran reduced the lead to 38-31, forcing the game to get tense, but India held on to pull out a 42-32 victory. India had thrashed Hong Kong 64-20 earlier in the day to finish the league stage of the competition unbeaten.
The Asian Kabaddi Championships included six teams: Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, and India. India finished first in the points standings after winning all five of its league games. Iran qualified for the final, finished second, and only lost to India throughout the league stage. On the first day of the competition, India defeated Korea by a score of 76-13, but their closest result, a 33-28 triumph against Iran, came on Thursday.
The forthcoming Asian Games, which will take place from September 23 to October 8, in Hangzhou, China, will present the Indian kabaddi teams with their next major challenge. The reigning champions at the continental multi-sport championship will be Iran, who defeated India in the semi-finals in Jakarta in 2018.