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The 19th Asian Games at Hangzhou, China is scheduled to start on September 10, 2022 and it will be the ninth edition of the Asian Games with kabaddi a part of it.

Kabaddi was first introduced as part of the Asian Games in 1990 at Beijing with six participating countries - India, Bangladesh, Japan, China, Pakistan and Nepal. That edition took a round-robin approach to decide the winner.

Initially, only men’s kabaddi was introduced. Since its introduction to the Asian Games, India has remained a dominant force having won seven gold medals and a bronze in eight editions.

Bangladesh could be considered the second best team in kabaddi at the Asian Games with five medals in the first five editions. However, they have not won a single gold medal.

Iran, on the other hand, have two silver medals and a gold. They are the defending champions ahead of Hangzhou 2022 and are the only team to defeat India in kabaddi at the Asian Games.

The Indian men won gold from 1990 to 2014 before Iran, the silver medallists from the 2010 and 2014 edition, beat a star-studded Indian team to win gold in 2018.

South Korea were the runners-up in 2018 in what was a result that was an improvement from their 2014 bronze medal finish.

Women’s kabaddi at the Asian Games made its debut only in 2010 with Indian women winning two gold medals in the three editions so far, while Iran bagged gold in 2018.

The Iran women also have a bronze medal from 2010 and a silver medal from 2014. Thailand women are the other team to have three medals in the three editions of women’s kabaddi at the Aisan Games having won one silver and two bronze medals.

Overall, India have the most Asian Games golds in kabaddi - seven times for men and two for women - but Iran are the defending champions in both categories heading into the 2022 Asian Games in China.

Asian Games kabaddi winners - men

Edition

Gold Medal

Silver Medal

Bronze Medal

1990, Beijing

India

Bangladesh

Pakistan

1994, Hiroshima

India 

Bangladesh

Pakistan

1998, Bangkok

India 

Pakistan

Bangladesh

2002, Busan

India

Bangladesh

Pakistan

2006, Doha

India

Pakistan

Bangladesh

2010, Guangzhou

India

Iran

Pakistan, Japan

2014, Incheon

India

Iran

South Korea, Pakistan

2018, Jakarta

Iran

South Korea

Pakistan, India

Note: Until 2002, teams were awarded medals as per their position on the table after a round-robin style tournament. In 2006, there was a third-place match between the semi-finalists. Since 2010, both teams that have lost the semi-finals have been awarded bronze medals.

Asian Games kabaddi winners - women

Edition

Gold Medal

Silver Medal

Bronze Medal

2010, Guangzhou

India

Thailand

Bangladesh, Iran

2014, Incheon

India

Iran

Thailand, Bangladesh

2018, Jakarta

Iran

India

Chinese Taipei, Thailand

Featured image: Shutterstock

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