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Kabaddi Stats: Nations that have won the most titles at the Asian Kabaddi Championship

Kabaddi, a sport that is strongly ingrained in Indian culture, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. According to Sangam Literature, it has its roots in ancient Tamil Nadu, when a game called Sadugudu was long played. Before participating in Jallikattu, a historic bull-taming practice, people played Sadugudu as a warm-up sport. According to many, Gautam Buddha is said to have enjoyed Kabaddi as a recreational activity. Another version claims that Kabaddi originated in Tamil Nadu and became well-known among the Yadava people more than 4,000 years ago. Tukaram’s Abhang mentions Lord Krishna enjoying the game during his childhood.

The Kabaddi that we play today is a blend of several regional varieties that are practiced under different names. The Berlin Olympics in 1936 brought kabaddi to the limelight across the world. It was India who took the initiative towards the expansion of Kabaddi with the institution of the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF), which was founded in 1950. The organization was a requisite for the game as it resulted in the foundation of its development and standardization of its regulations. The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) was then established in 1973 which escalated the sport’s development.

Formation of governing bodies across the world to popularize Kabaddi

The Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) was founded in 1978 as the governing body for Kabaddi in Asia, whose primary responsibility is to supervise the sport of Kabaddi within the continent of Asia. Furthermore, the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) was instituted in 2004 as the global governing body for Kabaddi. Currently, the IKF comprises 31 national associations as its members. The main idea of the organization is to publicize the sport, Kabaddi, all over the world.

India’s dominance at the Asian Kabaddi Championship

The Asian Kabaddi Championship for men is a competition where various Asian teams participate to showcase their skills in the sport. The championship’s inaugural edition was held in 1980 in India’s city of Kolkata. India has been the most dominant nation since the commencement of the Asian Kabaddi Championship, winning seven titles (1980, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2017) in the eight editions that have been held. 

However, in the year 2003, Iran broke India’s sensational record of five consecutive titles and clinched their first-ever title, getting the better of Malaysia in the finals. After the 2005 edition which was conducted in Tehran, Iran, which saw India defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final, the tournament witnessed a gap of 12 years until the next iteration. In the finals of the 2017 installment of the event, the result was much-alike to last edition’s result with India once again prevailing over their biggest rival, Pakistan.

The latest edition of the Asian Kabaddi Championship

The Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023 for Men is the latest installment of the tournament which is happening after a six-year hiatus. This will feature six teams – India, Iran, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong, from June 27 to June 30, 2023. Pakistan is not participating in this edition which is being held in Busan, Republic of Korea. Although the reason behind this is not known, it is believed that the cause might be due to Visa issues. 

Nations that have won the most titles at the Asian Kabaddi Championship

With the 2023 edition already kicked off, let’s take a look at the past winners of the Asian Kabaddi Championship for men.

YearHostGoldSilverBronze
1980Kolkata, IndiaIndiaBangladeshNepal
1988Jaipur, IndiaIndiaBangladesh
2000Colombo, Sri LankaIndiaSri LankaPakistan
2001Bangkok, ThailandIndia
2002Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaIndiaJapanIran
2003Kangar, MalaysiaIranMalaysiaSri Lanka
2005Tehran, IranIndiaPakistanIran
2017Gorgan, IranIndiaPakistanIran andSouth Korea

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