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Asian Games Highlights: India infiltrates into Sepak Takraw with a historic bronze win

Asian Games Highlights: India infiltrates into Sepak Takraw with a historic bronze win

Sohinee Basu

Published: 22 Aug 2018 3:43 AM GMT
India has shifted into the right gear on the 3rd day of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games with the medals rolling in one after the other. The Indian brigade is stirring waters of fairly less trodden territories as they made a historic conquest by securing a bronze medal in the Sepak Takraw Men's team regu event. With three gold, three silver and four bronze medals in India's bag, things look pleasant for the contingent. The best bit is that India has scripted history by winning a maiden medal in Sepak takraw in the Asian Games in a sport primarily dominated by Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia. Post this win; the team is all set for adding another bronze to their name after winning a medal in the Men's regu event.
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In their opening campaign, India side-swept Iran in sepak takraw in the men's regu event and assured a bronze medal in their name for the very first time in Asian Games history. The men's team had been working closely for the last five years, and their efforts had begun to reap fruits when they clinched the silver medal at the Asian Sepak Takraw Championship held in 2017. Powered on by the success in "kick ball", the Indian team lay hungry for more and proved their mettle when they saw off Iran swiftly in 21-16, 19-21, 21-17. Sepak takraw, which as a sport has a controversial origin story with several countries calling dibs on introducing it to the mass, has been a relatively favourite sport bred in the heart of South-East Asia. The game is an excellent cross between volleyball and football. In sepak takraw, a player can only use their feet, head, knees and chest to fling the ball across the net.
India has been participating in the sepak takraw event for the past three editions of the Asian Games, but their efforts had met with futility on all such outings. India's win against Iran assured them a semi-final entry in the men's regu event and an assured bronze medal for the first time in the history of the Asian Games. There are six teams in the Asiad competition with Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea clubbed in Group A, while India was drawn with Iran and Indonesia in Group B. In a second match with the host nation, Indonesia, India didn't perform so well and lost 3-0. However, with their win over Iran, they booked themselves a bronze medal for the first time in Asiad history as well as a berth in the semifinals where they clashed off with the best of the game, Thailand only to succumb to a 2-0 loss. However, this is a proud moment for all of us because sepak takraw is an underrated and glossed over event for India and to have won a bronze medal at that is indeed indicative of the bright future ahead for sepak takraw in India!
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