Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Matter of time before kabaddi reaches Olympics: Deepak Hooda

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Source: Twitter. Deepak Hooda (centre) playing for the Jaipur Pink Panthers in 2018
Source: Twitter. Deepak Hooda (centre) playing for the Jaipur Pink Panthers in 2018

Captain of the Indian national kabaddi team Deepak Hooda believes the sport is on its way to becoming included in the Olympics.

- Advertisement -

Three prominent persons connected closely with kabaddi feel that the sport winning Indias top sports awards recently means that it was being recognised at the highest level. Current India captain Deepak Hooda, who won the Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award (Lifetime) winner former India coach Krishan Kumar Hooda, and Manpreet Singh, won the Dhyan Chand Award, have emphasised this.

“Kabaddi players and coaches were one of the few in the list for the awards that play a sport which is not part of the Olympics. It shows that the sport is being recognised,” Deepak said.

“Apart from this, Pro Kabaddi always draws a lot of attention. Globally, other countries are getting better. So, I think it is only a matter of time before kabaddi reaches the Olympics.”

The improving standards of other countries in comparison with India could be seen during the 2018 Asian Games. India had failed to reach the men’s kabaddi final for the first time since the sport was included in the Asian Games, in 1990, after a defeat to Iran. Thus ended India’s monopoly of winning gold.

READ ALSO: Indian soccer league gets global recognition

Hooda in the Puneri Paltan team uniform
Source: Twitter. Hooda in the Puneri Paltan team uniform

“A sport evolves only when other countries also improve. It is only when multiple countries compete well that kabaddi will reach the Olympics. So, it is good that countries like South Korea and Iran are playing well and winning medals. We have some good young players coming through, so it is looking good for us,” said Deepak.

Krishan, who was men’s team coach between 1999 and 2001, said that the stature of kabadddi players back then could not be compared with the present lot. “Back then we would arrive at the airport and come straight back home without anybody even taking notice. That is not the case now. Pro Kabaddi has a big role to play in the game getting the sort of popularity it has now. There are academies and grounds cropping up in a lot of places. The difference between what was the case in 1999 and now is that of day and night,” he said.

For Deepak Hooda, winning the Arjuna was always a mark of success. “When I first started playing kabaddi, my ambition was to play for India,” he said. “It was later that I saw that the likes of Rakesh Kumar and Anup Kumar winning Arjuna Awards for their achievements. I realised how big these awards are and decided that I would be truly successful only after I win the Arjuna. A lot of respect comes with these awards, so I worked harder to win it.”

After being named in the winners’ list, Hooda said that he had waited for many years for recognition. After winning the World Cup in 2007, he had applied for the Arjuna Award, but his application was rejected.


READ ALSO: India to host ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Aus gets 2022

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

dhoni, rishabh pant, rohit sharma, tim paine, r ashwin, stump mic moments, ashwin sledging, sledging, funny moments, stump mic teasing

Candid convos caught by stump mics

  A lot of the time cheeky stump mics catch candid conversations on the pitch that become immortalised on Youtube. Here are some of those...
cheteshwar pujara

WATCH: Pujara puts his body on the line at the Gabba

  A battered and bruised Indian cricket team is soldiering on as the final day of the 4th cricket test match goes to a thrilling...

Biryani Bonanza: 3 delicious recipes to try this Republic Day

  Talk about biryanis, and you’ll encounter way too many FAQs. Do you cook the rice and meat separately, or together? Do you use the...
curry and rice

“Stop cooking curry”: when neighbours complain about ‘smelly’ Indian food

  When 29-year-old Vaibhav Pokhriyal moved into his new apartment in Dee Why, he never would’ve guessed what a stir (no pun intended) his cooking...
Seniors, adult, match, cricket, sport, outdoors, park, day, ball, holidays,

Have you registered yet for National Backyard Cricket Day?

  If you played gully cricket as a child in India, you're probably already into backyard cricket. Well, here's your chance to do a bit of...