2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Republic of Korea, Argentina look ahead with optimism - News

Republic of Korea, Argentina look ahead with optimism

09 October 2016

Three days into the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and all 12 teams have played one match at the very least. While it’s still too early to say which teams will make the semi-finals, the Republic of Korea has definitely made heads turn after their two wins in as many games. First, they stunned hosts and title favourites India in a thrilling opening encounter where they took the win with just a 2-point difference in the end. Then on Day 3 of the competition, they took on Argentina and gave a masterclass of a performance, especially in the first half. Both victories mean they now sit pretty on top of the Group A table ahead of the fourth day of the competition.

Interestingly, in the match against Argentina, the Koreans fielded a completely different starting 7 in the second half as compared to the first half. That meant the whole team got into the thick of the action, but did that upset the momentum a little in the latter half? 

“We looked comfortable in the first half and decided to play our reserve players in the second. Things didn’t go our way and we made some mistakes. It’s okay as long as the result was in our favour,” said Dong Gyu Kim when interacting with members of the media.

Despite that slight blip, the Korean defender was optimistic of his team’s chances in the tournament. “We are pleased with our win. That’s two consecutive wins now. We will look to keep the momentum going. We made some mistakes today in defending and raiding, so we will try to improve in those areas during training.” 

Their next challenge comes in the form of heavyweights Bangladesh and the Koreans will be wary of their prowess. “We will maintain the same spirit and continue playing the same way we have throughout the competition. We face Bangladesh next, which is a very important game for us and our target remains to win and keep moving forward,” the defender asserted. 

When asked if the team would repeat the idea of using all 14 players in their next match, Dong Gyu Kim said, “We are going to stick to the original starting 7. We might use other players from the bench, but only if we are in a comfortable position against our next opponents Bangladesh.”

While the Republic of Korea was jubilant in victory, Argentina seemed happy with the experience despite the tough loss. Defender Sebastian Canencia felt their debut could only be the start of better times. “This was the first match for the Argentina kabaddi team, and it was a good experience. We played poor in the first half, but I was pleased with the team’s performance in the second half. The team is getting stronger and will improve on the results with the games to come,” he opined.

The improved performance in the final 20 minutes also gave him hope for the rest of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. “We will look to play the same way we did in the second half in our next matches and hope to do well in the tournament.” 

And finally, what about their experience in India? The Argentina sounded delighted saying, “This is our first time in India. India has crazy people and kabaddi is a crazy sport. We are absolutely enjoying our time here.”