Hangzhou, Oct 7: The Indian women's kabaddi team survived a scare before reclaiming the gold medal in the Asian Games after a gap of five years, beating Chinese Taipei by one point in the final at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre, here on Saturday.
In the final, the Indian women's team was run close by first-timers Chinese Taipei, who had stunned defending champions Iran in the semifinals, before emerging 26-25 winner at full time.
In the 2018 Games in Indonesia, India lost to Iran 24-27 in the final and had to settle for a silver medal. It was only the third time that women's kabaddi was being played in the Asian Games and the defeat suffered by two-time defending champions India was a huge embarrassment for the country's kabaddi officials.
What came as a humiliation for the Indian kabaddi establishment was the men's team failing to get onto the podium in an indigenous sport from the country, after losing to Pakistan in the bronze medal match.
In Hangzhou on Saturday, the Indian women's team at least restored some pride for the country by winning the gold medal.
But it was a close affair.
The Indians were leading 14-9 at the end of the first half after getting eight Chinese Taipei players out and bagging six bonus points. Chinese Taipei got six players out and claimed one bonus point as the Indians defended well.
But in the second half, the Indians got eight players out but managed only two bonus points while Chinese Taipei recorded 12 outs and just one bonus point.
Interestingly, Chinese Taipei claimed two points for getting their opponents all-our while the Indians did not have an all-out.
But in the end, what mattered was that the Indian team won the gold medal.