The Kabaddi World Cup has returned with renewed vigour after a gap of nine long years, and coming on the back of the Pro Kabaddi League’s success, it’s a milestone moment for the sport. While fans waited nine years for this milestone, kabaddi’s next big marker came almost immediately.
South Korea, a team with little record of success in the sport, upstaged the pecking order in the very first match. They came out on court at ‘The Arena’ by TransStadia in Ahmedabad, played kabaddi from the top drawer and beat the mighty Indians, overwhelming favourites to lift the World Cup on home soil.
But it was more than just a win for an underdog; Korea’s win was the greatest upset the sport has ever witnessed. It was also only the second time that India have lost a kabaddi game in a major international tournament. Before Friday’s result, kabaddi was all about India and the rest of the world, but South Korea changed that and have thrown the floor open for competition. The Kabaddi World Cup was supposed to change the face of the sport, and it couldn’t have asked for a better beginning.