2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Japan awaits a fresh challenge in Ahmedabad - Features

Japan awaits a fresh challenge in Ahmedabad

06 October 2016

The Japanese are a skillful bunch when it comes to sports. This tiny nation has always participated in baseball, football, judo, rugby, softball, table tennis and more. What’s even better is the natives are also receptive to new challenges, be it in sport or a way of life. A similar intent and desire have been showcased when it came to accepting a sport like kabaddi. 

Kabaddi was introduced in Japan more than 20 years ago, and although the growth of the sport has been a bit slow, the interest has hardly diminished. Since its introduction to this date, the country boasts of over 30 recognised clubs, mostly in the Hiroshima and Tokyo areas, with several hundred registered players ranging from elementary school students to adults as members. Most of the players in the current national team take out time to practise and develop their game. Registered players find exposure in tournaments ranging from junior, school or national levels. The biggest tournament there is the Japanese Kabaddi Championships – where the calibre and quality of the players can be seen.  

Juggling their personal and kabaddi lives, the Japanese national side seems well equipped with useful skills like teamwork, low posture, strong tackle and speed. Being naturally agile and quick in their movements, these traits stand them in good stead, especially for the upcoming 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. Takamitsu Kono, who participated in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi for Dabang Delhi, and captain Masayuki Shimokawa are potentially the stars to watch out for in the current team.  

Japan has been participating in big tournaments such as the Asian Games since 1990, the Asian Championships and the Indoor Asian Games. Japan’s best ever finish in an international tournament was in third place at the Asian Games 2010 edition held in Guangzhou. 

The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup will act as a fresh challenge for the Japanese to stake their claim and make a mark on the kabaddi map. They will be looking to impress and achieve as much as they can during the mega event, and this is where their credentials will truly be tested. Don’t take them lightly as this is a nation on the rise, and they will stop at nothing come what may!