Team Navy of Sri Lanka clinched the women’s trophy in style.
TEAM Delhi India staged a tremendous comeback against Sri Lanka’s Army Colombo in the men’s final of the 5th Kuala Lumpur International Inter-City Kabaddi Championships and emerged champions with a one-point victory.
Delhi beat their opponent 17-16 after a raider from the opposition landed himself in a compromising position and was captured shortly before the end of the match.
A deafening cheer broke out as the champions celebrated their hard-fought victory on the last day of the three-day tournament that was held at Titiwangsa Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The championships were organised by the Kuala Lumpur Kabaddi Association and sanctioned by the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation and Asian Kabaddi Confederation.
Association president S.T. Arusu said during his closing speech, that the championship this year had seen the Kabaddi players displaying “superb skills” during the matches.
“The last two days have been very interesting and the semi-finals and final were closely-matched. The quality of the teams has also improved,” he said, adding that the championships this year had the highest number of teams participating since its inauguration in 2008.
Arusu also mentioned that he is planning to organise the championships again as they intend to make it an annual event.
“Some teams had already said they are looking forward to the championship next year,” he added.
A total of 18 teams from India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka participated in both the men’s and women’s categories.
There were four groups in the men’s section and two groups in the women’s.
Teams faced each other in a league format and the top two teams from each group proceeded to the knock-out stages.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, the all-Sri Lankan final was won by Navy who thrashed Army Colombo 43-24.
In the playoff for third-place, team Khaital 0f India defeated the Kuala Lumpur team 39-38 to clinch the title.
The championship also proved a learning curve for local teams, which have benefited from it as they prepare for other tournaments this year.
Terengganu Kabaddi team manager M. Rezal Abu Bakar said it was good exposure for them, adding that, “We had two teams in the tournament, one each for the men’s and women’s categories and it was a good exercise for them as they were selected for the Asian Games in September.
“India and Sri Lanka are both experienced teams and we had the chance to face them. After this, we will focus on agility and fitness training, of which both are essential qualities in Kabaddi,” he said.
Champions: Delhi India
Runners: Army Colombo
Third place: Air Force Colombo
Runners-up: Army Colombo
Third place: Khaithal