LAHORE: Pakistan Kabaddi team created history when they dethroned defending champions India by 43-41 in the high-voltage tension-filled final of Kabaddi World Cup 2020.
Pakistan became World Kabaddi champions for the first time. The third place went to Iranian team which toppled Australia by a margin of 54-33.
Both Pakistan and their arch-rivals India demonstrated best Kabaddi throughout the tense final match. India, with the score of 24-18, took a lead of six points in the first half. However, Pakistan regrouped and bounced back in the second half and gradually regained their confidence and ultimately won the historic final against their strong opponents by 43-41.
Besides receiving the medals, the first three teams received:
- Winners – Pakistan team received the Gold Medals, Trophy and Rs 10 million ($ 65,000)
- Runners Up – India team won the Silver Medals and Rs 7.5 million ($ 50,000)
- 3rd Position – Holders Iran wore the Bronze Medals and Rs. 5.0 million ($ 35,000)
All the players of Pakistan particularly captain M Irfan, Waqas Butt Shafiq were in best of their performance in a battle of nerves.
Pakistan captain Irfan Mana won the toss and decided to raid. In the very first attempt, Pakistan applied pressure on their blue attired rivals to go up in points through Mohammad Shafiq Chishti. But Vinay Khatri leveled the score. In the fluctuating encounter as one teams took the lead the other came with an equalizer. Navjot Singh Jota, Ravi Deora and Arsh Chola remained prominent performers for India in the tense clash.
At 3-all Pakistan main raiders Shafiq and Waqas Butt conceded three back to back points to be at the back foot at 3-6 and then 4-7. The difference of three points which was increased to six between them remained intact with India showing better strength and technique. And by the close of first half, Pakistan was down with six points at 18-24.
In the second session, Pakistan was in the receiving end as India maintained its lead. At the time when the points were at 24-28 with home team being down, there were some technical hiccups with India claiming Pakistan raider failed to cross the line in 30 seconds but were awarded point and after several reviews the committee declined India’s appeal.
Pakistan later had an incredible fight back from there on to come on equal terms at 32-32 and then went ahead two points. During the entire time the fans remained on their toes and expressed joy on Pakistan’s fight back at 36-34.
Here too the game was again stopped with India calming point on a double touch but that too was rejected by referees. Just minutes before the finish, Pakistan raider claimed a double touch point which India opposed but the later was awarded a point. Their nerve-wrecking attempts continued till the final whistle and ultimately the two teams separated with Pakistan’s winning 43-41.
Earlier, Iran proved too strong for Australia in the third and fourth position match of the mega event here. Iran maintained its grip on the game from the start till the final whistle. Though in between Australia penetrated to get some points but Iran kept things in total control. Iran led the match 30-16 in the first half and won the match 54-33 by the end of the game. Ramandeep Singh Peeta was declared the best raider while Ali Raza Safari was adjudged best stopper.
As many as nine teams including Pakistan, India, Germany, Azerbaijan, Iran, Canada, Sierra Leone, England and Australia participated in the tournament organized jointly by the Punjab government, Sports Board Punjab and the PKF – Pakistan Kabaddi Federation.
The matches were played in three venues – Punjab Stadium Lahore, Iqbal Cricket Stadium Faisalabad and Zahoor Elahi Stadium Gujrat.
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