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New Delhi, 28 June: Kabaddi fans are in cheers across the country. Reason?

Seven-time champion India started the defence of their title in style as they thrashed Korea and Chinese Taipei in Asian Kabaddi Championship in Busan on Tuesday.

India dismantled Korea in their opener as they drubbed the hosts 76-13 in a match which turned out to be a no-contest. Debutant Aslam Inamdar, who came in as a substitute for seasoned raider Naveen Kumar, scored a super 10 in his team's emphatic victory. India scored nine straight points before Korea opened their account. 

The first half ended with the winners leading by 36 points at 40-4. Korea managed nine points in the second half but it was no match against India’s clinical all-round show.

The defending champions inflicted the hosts with five all-outs in the match. Surjeet Narwal was impressive in defence and scored seven tackle points.

India faced a slightly stronger challenge in their second match of the day against Chinese Taipei. Led by Sachin’s all-around show, they won the match 53-19.  The two teams exchanged points at the start of the game with India leading by a point at 7-6. They increased the gap with eight straight points which included an all-out in the 12th minute.

The scores read 21-12 in India’s favour at half-time. Three all-outs by the champions in the second half and a flurry of points helped them win the match by a margin of 34 points.

India will take on Japan on Wednesday. Their much-awaited clash against Iran, the 2003 champions, will be on Thursday.

Six teams - India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are taking part in the Asian Championships. The top two teams after the single-legged round-robin league will meet in the final on Friday.


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