2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Day 1: India face Republic of Korea in tricky opener; USA face off against Iran - News

Day 1: India face Republic of Korea in tricky opener; USA face off against Iran

07 October 2016

The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup will kick off with hosts India taking on Republic of Korea in the opening game on Friday, October 7. This match will commence at 8 pm and be followed by Iran vs USA at 9 pm IST. 

Favourites India will be keen to get off the blocks on a winning note with big names such as Anup Kumar, Manjeet Chhillar and Rahul Chaudhari among others. With Star Sports Pro Kabaddi making household names out of many Indian players, it has prompted some to proclaim this side as a ‘Dream Team’ making the home side the team to beat. However, Republic of Korea will be no pushovers.

For the Koreans, the likes of Seong Ryeol Kim, Tae Deok Eom, Jang Kun Lee and Dong Ju Hong have all graced Star Sports Pro Kabaddi at some point or the other which will stand them in good stead. They have first-hand experience of playing with and against the Indian players and are quite strong and fast themselves. It will be no walk in the park and Republic of Korea will even fancy an upset. 

Rest assured, this opening Pool A encounter promises to be an enthralling one. Other teams in Pool A include Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh and England.

USA go into tie with Iran as minnows   

Traditionally, Iran have always had a strong kabaddi side and they will be firm favourites to top Group B which also consists of Japan, Kenya, Poland and Thailand apart from the United States of America. The brilliance of Fazel Atrachali along with the experience of Mohammadreza Maghsodlou and captain Meraj Sheykh in India will prove vital to Iran’s chances. The fact that one of India’s top raiders, Ajay Thakur, in a recent interview singled out Iran to be India’s toughest competitors in the tournament speaks volumes of the side.

Team USA too will be eagerly looking to gain as much as they can from this experience. And will be looking to spring a surprise or two. With plenty of Indian origin players in the side, USA will look to be plucky and rattle the cages of the more experienced sides.