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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Asian Games 2018: India kabaddi coach criticises skipper Ajay Thakur after semifinal loss

India kabaddi coach coach Ram Mehar blamed skipper Ajay Thakur’s “over confidence” for the team’s semifinal loss against Iran at the Asian Games 2018 on Thursday.

asian-games-2018 Updated: Aug 23, 2018 20:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Indian men’s kabaddi team in action during their Asian Games 2018 semifinal match against Iran.
Indian men’s kabaddi team in action during their Asian Games 2018 semifinal match against Iran.(PTI)

Terming it a “massive defeat”, coach Ram Mehar Singh hit out at his captain Ajay Thakur’s “over confidence” after India were knocked out of the Asian Games men’s gold medal match for the first time.

Seven-time champions India were downed 18-27 by ever-improving Iran in the semifinals and it will be the firs time that they will not be part of the Asiad final since the sport’s introduction in 1990.

“We lost the match due to the captain’s over confidence, injury played a part, and super tackle,” the dejected coach said after the shocking defeat at the Theatre Garuda.

Influential skipper Thakur got injured during the match and that only made India’s job harder.

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

India’s nearly unchallenged domination of the Asian Games kabaddi competition ended with the men’s team failing to make the final for the first time.

READ: Indian men’s kabaddi team loses in semi-final to Iran

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

India endured their worst outing this time, having lost to South Korea a few 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. Forward line did not work today, and we faced problems in super tackle,” Ram Mehar said.

For the first time in its history, India ended with a bronze medal in its indigenous sport, in which a gold is taken for granted every four years at the Asiad.

“Repercussions can be huge”

India’s shocking ouster from the gold medal contention will have “far-reaching implications”, feels two-time Asiad gold medallist and former captain Anup Kumar.

“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 far-reaching impact of this result and repercussions will be huge,” Anup, who led India to a gold medal at the Incheon Games told PTI

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 20:24 IST

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