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Asiad kabaddi: Indian women’s team advance into final

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Hangzhou: The Indian women’s kabaddi team advanced into the final at the Asian Games 2023 after a 61-17 win over Nepal at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre here on Friday.

This will be India’s fourth successive women’s kabaddi final appearance at the Asian Games. The Indian kabaddi team won the gold medal at Guangzhou 2010, defended its title at Incheon 2014 and finished runners-up at Jakarta 2018.

India will play Chinese Taipei in the Hangzhou 2023 final on Saturday. Chinese Taipei ousted 2018 champions Iran in the semi-finals and tied with India in the group stages. Nepal, meanwhile, ended their run in kabaddi at the Asian Games 2023 with a bronze.

Nepal matched India’s intensity for a brief period at the start but the young Indian raider Pooja Hathwala got a string of touchpoints and bonuses to help the former champions build up a 9-2 lead, Olympics.com reported.

India followed it up by inflicting their first all-out and increased the gap to 14-5. Though Nepal managed to keep the scoreboard ticking, India remained in control and inflicted a second all-out on Nepal on the brink of half-time.

India led by 19 points at the break at 29-10. With the game almost in the bag, India opted to replace their top raider Pooja Hathwala with Snehal Shinde, who was part of India’s squad in 2018. Akshima was also brought in for her Asian Games debut.

India forced three more all-outs on Nepal and took their score past 60 for the first time in Hangzhou. The Indian women’s kabaddi team eventually won the contest 61-17 and booked their place in the final.

Earlier, India, with five points from three matches in the group stage, sealed their place in the semi-finals. They drew level with Chinese Taipei in their first match but bounced back to beat Thailand and the Republic of Korea convincingly.

The women’s kabaddi final between India and Chinese Taipei at the Asian Games 2023 will be played on Saturday.

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