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Asian Games 2018: Coach Ram Mehar slams overconfident captain Ajay Thakur following semi-final defeat


India men’s Kabaddi team head coach Ram Mehar Singh slammed captain Ajay Thakur for his “overconfidence” after the defending champions were knocked out the Asian Games semi-finals for the first time in history.-

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Seven-time champions India slumped to an 18-27 defeat against Iran on Thursday and will return with a bronze following its worst-ever performance at the Intercontinental event. This will be the first time since the game was incepted into the Asian Games in 1990 that India will not be a part of the final.

We lost the match due to the captain’s overconfidence, injury played a part, and super tackle,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India following the shock defeat at the Theatre Garuda.

Also Read: Asian Games 2018: India suffers shock defeat to Iran in Kabaddi semi-final; fails to bring gold first time in history

Ajay who sustained a cut on his forehead during the match was dismissed, making India’s job more difficult against an ever-improving Iran.

“It’s a massive defeat by Iran and we accept this. Our catching was also good. We have to accept that Iran played well,” added a dejected Singh as the result started to trend on the social media.

“The game was in our control and we can go all the way, don’t get excited’ we told the players,” manager Rambir Khokhar added to his comments.

Also Read: Asian Games 2018: Bopanna-Sharan enter doubles final; ensure silver medal

This was India’s worst ever outing not only for dismal loss to Iran but also for their group stage defeat to South Korea, a couple of days ago.

“In our last match our defence did not do well, but today our defence did well. We told them to use their mind while raiding. The forward line did not work today, and we faced problems in super-tackle,” explained Singh.

Meanwhile, former India captain Anup Kumar was quoted by the Hindustan Times saying that the defeat and the bronze medals will have “huge repercussions” in the country. Anup had earlier led the country to two-consecutive gold-medals at the Asiad.

“I am too stunned to react at the moment. It will take some time to accept that this has exactly happened. But let me tell you there will be a far-reaching impact of this result and repercussions will be huge,” he said.

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