JAKARTA — In what would have been unthinkable in India before the Asian Games, there’ll be no kabaddi gold medals for the spiritual home of the sport.
A day after Iran stunned the seven-time champion Indian men in the semifinals, the Iranians won the women’s title with a 27-24 thriller over India on Friday.
Too bad for India, which has long dominated a sport that blends tag and tackle with wrestling moves.
The Indian women took an early 7-3 lead but Iran rallied to take a 17-13 margin and eventually held on in a tense finish for victory.
The Iranian men were playing for gold against South Korea later Friday. The Koreans in the group stage became the first team ever to beat India’s men’s team at the Asian Games. This is the first time since the sport was introduced in 1990 that India won’t win a gold.
India’s woes continued when former No. 1-ranked Kidambi Srikanth was upset 23-21, 21-19 in the second round of men’s singles in the badminton by Vincent Wong of Hong Kong.
The sixth day of competition was expected to be headlined by Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee and her bid for a sixth gold medal, and a record-equaling eighth medal at a single Asian Games.
Ikee led qualifiers in the heats of the women’s 50-meter freestyle.
China’s three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang was aiming for his fourth freestyle gold medal of the games, hoping to add the 1,500 title to his victories in the 200, 400 and 800.
Until Friday, no cyclist had won both the road race and the individual time trial at the same Asian Games. Now two cyclists have done it.
Two days after her road race victory, South Korea’s Na Ah-reum won the women’s time trial at Subang in West Java from Eri Yonamine of Japan and Leung Wing Yee of Hong Kong.
Kazakstan’s Alexey Lutsenko made it back-to-back golds on back-to-back days by winning the men’s time trial from Muradjan Khalmuratov of Uzbekistan and Japan’s Fumiyuki Beppu, whom he edged in a sprint finish to the road race 24 hours earlier.
Japan won its fifth consecutive Asian Games softball gold medal with a 7-0 shutout against Taiwan.
The first Asian Games gold medal ever awarded the Asian Games, and Cambodia’s first medal for the 2018 games, went to Jessa Khan, who beat Mahra Alhinaai of the United Arab Emirates in the women’s 49-kilogram class.
Kim Hyo Sim won North Korea’s fifth gold medal in weightlifting with victory in the women’s 63-kilogram division.
Kim collected gold with a total of 250 kilograms, well clear of fellow North Korean Choe Hyo Sim, who was a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 world championships.
With China barred from the weightlifting competition for doping violations, the North Koreans are atop the standings in the sport.
The first doping case of the Jakarta-Palembang games was registered against a wrestler from Turkmenistan. The Olympic Council of Asia said Rustem Nazarov, who lost in the quarterfinals of the 57-kilogram division, was disqualified from the games after testing positive for the banned diuretic furosemide in a test on the eve of the opening ceremony.
There were six doping cases at the last Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.
Story: Josh Pye