Asian Games 2023, Women's Kabaddi: India Survive Scare, Play Out 34-34 Draw With Chinese Taipei In Opener

India women's next assignment in the Hangzhou Asian Games, kabaddi competition will be against South Korea, while the men's team will take on Bangladesh

Indian Women's Kabaddi team captain Ritu Negi

In an unexpected start to its campaign, the Indian women's kabaddi team was on Monday held to a surprise 34-34 draw by Chinese Taipei in a Group A match at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. (Medal Tally | Schedule | Full Coverage | Sports News)

The Indians were made to work hard throughout the contest by their opponents, who earned a bonus point on the last raid of the match to force a draw.

The women side's next assignment will be against South Korea on Tuesday, while the men's team will take on Bangladesh in their Group A match.

The Indian women's team did not have an ideal start but recovered well to finish ahead at the end of the first half.

Defender Hsiu-Chen Feng troubled the Indians, who scripted a late recovery to finish 17-15 after the first half.

For India, Ritu Negi earned the first defensive point through an ankle hold, while Pooja Hathwala took the bonus point in the second half.

India managed to extend their lead by five points at 23-17 before grabbing a 26-20 lead at one stage, but thereafter the Chinese Taipei side came back roaring to level the scores.

Towards the end of the game, Nidhi claimed that she had a touch but the referees did not agree. Pooja then managed a raid point, which took the scoreline to 32-32.

India once again took the lead but the Chinese Taipei side kept coming back and walked off with a drawn result.

India team official V. Tejaswini Bai attributed the draw to nervousness and asserted that her girls would win gold.

"Our team will fight and our team will win. Today we were a little bit nervous, but from now on we will be more relaxed and we will win. I believe and I hope we will win gold."

She added the Chinese Taipei team had improved over the years.

"They are a very good team and they have improved a lot. They are very focused in kabaddi and I'm happy for that."