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Asian Games 2018: India ease into Kabaddi semi-finals


-The Indian men’s and women’s Kabaddi teams eased into the semi-finals of the 18th Asian Games with emphatic victories over their respective opponents in the group stage in Jakarta on Tuesday.

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While the men’s contingent routed Thailand 49-30 in their final Group A match to seal the semi-final berth, the women’s team Indonesia 54-22 to reach the last four stage.

Led by Ajay Kumar, the men’s team a seven-time Asian champion bounced back from their shock 23-24 defeat against South Korea in the previous match. They had earlier beaten Bangladesh and Sri Lanka 50-21 and 44-28 respectively before that loss at the hands of South Korea.

Also Read: Asian Games 2018: India wins historic bronze in Sepak takraw

With South Korea still to finish its group stage proceedings, the final table rank is still not available but India is certain to finish among the top two in the group and qualify for the semi-finals.

Similarly, in the women’s category, India has won all of its group stage matches. They played twice on the day and mauled Sri Lanka 38-12 before trouncing Indonesia 54-22 in its final Group A match.

They had earlier pummeled Japan 43-12 and Thailand 32-23 in their opening group stage matches.

The India women’s contingent has already qualified for the semi-finals and will face the second-placed team from Group B (which is yet to finalise) on August 23. The winner will play in the final on the next day.

Also Read: Asian Games 2018: 10 Sports making its debut at the intercontinental event

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold in the men’s 10m Air pistol event, while Abhishek Verma clinched the silver. They were well supported by shooter Sanjeev Rajput won also won a silver in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event.

It was also a historical day for the India men’s Sepaktakraw team who won a historical bronze after losing to Thailand – in the Team regu semi-finals.

India has so far won 10 medals (3 each of gold, silver, and 4 bronze) and is currently positioned seventh in the medal tally of the 18th Asian Games, which is led by China (60). They are followed by Japan (47), South Korea (34), Indonesia (12), Iran (12) and North Korea (8).

However, with four more medals assured for India at the Wushu event where four Indian athletes have reached the semi-finals in the different categories, India’s position in the leaderboard is certain to increase.

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