Kabaddi is a traditional Indian village sport boasting over 4000 years of history. It is simple, challenging, and fun, initially used by Indian soldiers for their defensive fighting techniques. It has since evolved into a competitive sports in India, and now a total of 12 countries participate in the Kabaddi World Cup 2016.
Kabaddi employs a simple modus operandi; tag and wrestle. There are two teams of seven players on each side. Each team will send one player to the centre, where they will try to touch one player from the opposite team, and then return his side before being tackled.
What is more interesting is that he will have to unceasingly chant “Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi,” while making a tag, or else it doesn’t count.
The Kabaddi World Cup 2016 kicked-off on October 7 with an opening match between defending champion and host India and South Korea.
The reigning champions are of course, the Indians, but here are a few countries that are disrupting the kabaddi world cup scene, some with only a month of training.
Kabaddi is rising in popularity in South Korea, especially in Busan. Korea has both men and women’s kabaddi team, and first participated on the 2010 Guangzhou Games. With coaches Jae-ho Cho and Hee-Jong Kim, South Korea has had four successive wins, and sealed their place in the semi-finals after beating Australia 63-25.
Yes, they suffered a painful defeated at the hands of the South Koreans, but that’s only because they took on the World Cup with three weeks of training. The kabaddi community in Australia did not realise that the world cup was happening, until about a month before it was scheduled to start, according to Ajit Singh Chouhan, an Indian-born who lives on Melbourne now and advocates the sport.
Most of the players who make up the kabaddi team in Australia are former football players, including their captain Campbell Brown, who is a former Hawthorn and Gold Coast player.
Kabaddi was introduced a sport in Argentina in 1999, has since sparked a lot of interest in the nation.They also have both men and women teams in five kabaddi clubs in Argentina.
Led by captain Sebastian Desocio, Argentina is also participating at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Argentina is the only country participating from South America, and they have just been beaten by Bangladesh.
Kenya is the only country in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup from Africa, and it will be their first time participating. They are led by captain David Mosambayi, who is an experienced Pro Kabaddi League player. The Kenyans recently humbled the USA, as they beat the Americans 74-19, and are in the running for the semi-finals.
Poland is one of the two teams competing in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup 2016. Although this will be Poland’s first time ever in the Kabaddi World Cup, they have a Malayalee coach, K Ganesh, picked by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), which is the governing body of the sport. Their captain Michal Spiczko is a seasoned in kabaddi and has won matches with Bengaluru Bulls.