Asserting their supremacy in the sport, India trounced Thailand 28-14 to clinch the inaugural women's kabaddi gold medal in the Asian Games today.
India took control of the game very early with aggressive tackling and dismissed the entire Thai team for a two-point bonus before taking a commanding 17-7 lead at the halfway stage of the one-sided final at the Nansha Gymnasium.
National coach Balwan Singh termed the triumph in the first appearance at the Games as a "good team effort". "We are proud to have won the gold for the country in a tough competition," he said. "Our defense was very good. We had studied the rival's game. They were very fast but could not wriggle out of our grasp when making raids into our territory," he said.
Manager Kumar Vijay said the team did not want to take things easy after the nerve-wrecking one-point semifinal victory over Iran.
"Though we were confident of winning the gold, we did not want to take any chances after the close semifinal against Iran yesterday (which India won by one point)," said Vijay.
"The score may show it was an easy victory but the Thai girls really put up a good resistance," he said.
After conceding a massive first-half lead, the Thai girls tried to make a comeback but the Indians did not allow it to happen with rock-solid defense and better tactical acumen.
The winners added 11 more points to their tally in the second half while keeping their rivals down to just seven to emerge creditable victors.