Pakistan kabaddi, kabaddi, asian games 2010, 2010 asian games, asian games kabbadi

Pakistani Kabaddi players try to block their Iranian opponent (10) from reaching his half during a match in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. -Photo by AP

GUANGZHOU: Pakistan’s kabaddi team is so determined to wrest the Asian Games title from arch-rivals India that they spent weeks at a high-altitude training camp to give them an extra edge.

The tactic appears to be paying off as they came through their first two group games 28-11 winners over Japan and then 51-27 victors against Malaysia.

Ahead of the Guangzhou Games, the team decamped to the Murree Hills near Islamabad, some 2,300 metres above sea level, to improve their fitness as they bid to get revenge for their loss to India in the final four years ago.

“We have thoroughly prepared for the Games. We had a number of weeks training in the high-altitude camp before coming back down,” said their coach Muhammad Akram.

“We then had training and matches both in Pakistan and Iran. We are now working very hard and believe we can win.”

The graft has paid off so far with Pakistan through to Thursday’s semi-finals in a sport that involves teams of men joining hands, holding their breath and raiding opponents.
Captain Nasir Ali was one of those to benefit from their time in the hills.

“We have a young team. We have changed our training and have a lot of new techniques,” he said, spelling out how much effort they were putting in to winning the gold medal.

“We train five to six hours a day. In the morning we do physical training and in the evening we do mat training. We also have practice matches to constantly improve.”

The kabaddi final is on Friday. -AFP