They are the most successful national team in the sport’s history.
The Indian Kabaddi team is by far the most successful national side in the sport’s history, having won gold medals and trophies in all the tournaments they have contested in. India have won all three editions of the Kabaddi World Cup to date and have also won the Asian Games gold medal a record seven times. Apart from the success on the international stage, the country has also been successfully running the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), a franchise league, for nine seasons now.
Here in this article, we detail the major trophies won by the Indian national Kabaddi team over the years.
Kabaddi World Cup (2004, 2017, 2016)
The men’s Kabaddi World cup was held for the first time in 2004 in Mumbai. India beat Iran 55-27 to lift the title, the first three titles for them. India also went on to win the other two editions, beating Iran again in the final on both occasions. The latest edition of the Kabaddi World Cup took place in 2016 in Ahmedabad.
It was a closely contested final and it was Ajay Thakur’s Super 10 that guided hosts India to victory. The prestigious tournament came to a standstill after 2007 and was finally held after a gap of nine years in 2016. The fourth edition of the Kabaddi World Cup is yet to take place.
India beat Iran 29-19 in the 2007 final in Panvel to win the World Cup. In the 2016 edition, India won by a 38-29 margin.
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Asian Games (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)
India have won the gold medal in all the editions of the Asian Games, since Kabaddi was introduced to the Games in 1990, except for the 2018 edition. In the 2018 edition, India finished third after losing to arch-rivals Iran in the semi-finals. The Jakarta edition of the Asian Games was also the first time India lost a match in Kabaddi. In fact, India lost two games (to South Korea in the group stages and Iran in the semi-finals) in the 2018 edition.
Despite a tough outing in the 2018 edition, India have ruled all the other previous editions. They will want to send a strong contingent and reclaim the gold medal in the upcoming edition in Hangzhou later this year.
Asian Kabaddi Championship (1980, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2017)
The first edition of the Asian Kabaddi Championships was held in 1980 in Kolkata, India. The Indian team defeated Bangladesh in the inaugural edition to clinch the title. They went on to win the Championships a record 10 times with the last edition held in Iran. India defeated Pakistan in the finals of the 2017 edition.
South Asian Games (1985, 1987, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2016, 2019)
Kabaddi made its debut at the SouthEast Asian Games in 1985 and since then 11 editions have been held successfully. Of the 11 editions, India has emerged victorious in 10 editions with Pakistan winning the title in 1993 defeating India in the final.
India and Pakistan have contested in the finals seven times and the former has come out victorious on six occasions. In the last edition in 2019, India beat Sri Lanka in the final with India’s new sensation Naveen “Express” scoring a Super 10.
Dubai Kabaddi Masters (2018)
The 2018 Dubai Kabaddi Masters was a six-nation Kabaddi Masters series which took place in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). It was also the first international kabaddi event to take place in the country.
Six teams (India, Pakistan, Kenya, South Korea, Iran, and Argentina) participated in the competition. Teams were divided into two groups of three teams each, with the top two teams making it to the knockout stage. India beat Iran 44-26 to win the title.
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