South Korea: An emerging force in the world of Kabaddi
South Korea, a Kabaddi team having players who are technically sound is a new emerging force in the World Kabaddi. The team has recently won Silver at Asian Games 2018. They lost to Iran in the finals and clinched Silver, which is their best performance at Asian Games till now.
They had won Bronze at 2014 Asian Games and 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. South Korea is the first team to beat the Indian team at the Asian Games in its history of 28 years. Before this, they have defeated India at 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and became the first team to beat India at World Cup.
Just before 11 years, Kabaddi Federation was established in Korea. South Korea made its Asian Games debut in 2010. They stood at 5th position in 2010. After 4 years team surprisingly won Bronze at 2014 Asian Game. And now they are Asian Games 2018 Silver medalist.
The country has produced many fine players. Now the team is one of the strongest team at World Kabaddi. This has been made possible due to the country’s diligent efforts at the grassroots level to promote the sport, beginning at school.
Nine Korean players are playing in Pro Kabaddi League in India. Korean players are the most number of International players playing in the league (9 out of 24). These top Korean players are earning millions from the pro kabaddi league.
Korea Captain Jang Kun Lee is the most famous international player in Pro Kabaddi League. “In India, there may be people that don’t know who BTS is, but they all know Lee,” said Cho Jae-ho, head coach of the Korean kabaddi team.
“More than any other country, I felt the most confident against India,” said captain Jang Kun Lee. “[When we won,] I think the Indian reporters and players seemed to have their pride hurt. They ignored my greeting. They were really surprised. Two years ago at the World Cup opening match, we won against India. Since a lot of the people commented that we were lucky, we wanted to prove that it wasn’t just luck.” At Asian Games 2018, South Korea defeated Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan (In Semifinals).
South Korea is now the third strongest Kabaddi team in the world with consistent performances at International level. We can say that they are now the ‘New Powerhouse of Kabaddi’.