India beats Iran to lift Kabbadi World Cup
India fought off a tough challenge from Iran on Saturday to lift their third successive Kabbadi world cup at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Unlike on the previous occasion when India had secured easy victories over their opponents in the tournament, Iran provided a stiff resistance to India’s quest for the title. It was a third clash between India and Iran in a World Cup final
Iran started on the front foot and dominated most of the first half. At one stage Iran led the host 18-13 and looked determinant to surprise their much superior opponents in hopes of lifting their first ever title.
However, India took charge of the second-half. 30-year-old Ajay Thakur defied the strong Iran defense to overturn halftime deficit to hand India to a 39-28 win.
The experienced Thakur stepped up on the day when it mattered the most. With his raiding prowess, Thakur proved to be the key to India’s win. He started India resurgence in the second half. He notched up four consecutive raid points. Thakur was adjudged the top raider of the World Cup with 64 points
South Korea’s Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) star Jang Kun Lee was adjudged the most valuable player of the World Cup.
At the end of the match Indian captain Anup Kumar showered praise on his teammates for the incredible victory.
“Iran had played very well in the Asian Games final as well. We had defeated them in the final stages of that match. We had learned our lesson from that game and we knew what we had to do today,” Anup said.