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Kabaddi golds prop India in Asiad, total haul at 57

Incheon: India brought the curtains down on their campaign in the 17th Asian Games, maintaining their domination of kabaddi with two gold medals as the country rose a rung to eighth in the overall standings on the penultimate day of competitions here today.

The two gold medals provided the final flourish for India at the Games, which can be considered a disappointment for the country given that the overall medal count went down in this edition.

Although the women’s team won their match against Iran quite comfortably, it was not a cakewalk for the men’s team which literally overcame a scare before notching up their seventh successive gold medal in the event.

Hammer thrower Manju Bala’s medal was upgraded from bronze to silver after a Chinese competitor who finished ahead of her was caught for doping.

With two gold medals coming today, India were placed eighth on the table with a total haul of 57 medals — 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze. China continued to be at the top with an impressive haul of 337 (149-107-81) followed by hosts South Korea 227 (76-71-80) and Japan 194 (46-72-76).

The medal collection was well below India’s expectation as they had managed a haul of 65 — 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze — in the previous edition of the Games in Guangzhou.

With no Indian participation on the last day of competitions tomorrow, the country’s overall standing can change depending on others’ performance.

Today, staging a fantastic second-half recovery, Indian men surged to gold by defeating Iran 27-25 in a thrilling final at the Songdo University Gymnasium.

India thus completed a golden double on the kabaddi mat for the second successive edition after the women defeated the same nation 31-21 in their final held earlier in the day.

The country thus boosted its overall gold tally to 11 on the final day of competitions here.

But it was touch and go for the Indian men, who have won the gold medal with ease on the six previous occasions since kabaddi was introduced in the 1990 Games at Beijing. They played catch-up with Iran for most part of the game before drawing level with the last seven minutes of the 40-minute match left.

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