India today assured itself of a maiden Asian Games medal in Sepak Takraw by progressing to the semifinals with a win over Iran, here.
India defeated Iran 21-16, 19-21, 21- 17 in the first match to make a winning start to its campaign.
India, however, lost to Indonesia 0-3 in the second match of the day in Men’s Team Regu Preliminary Group B but advanced to the last-four stage to be guaranteed at least a bronze.
“We created history in the 18th Asian Games. I am feeling very happy this moment to be a member of the team. I am very proud of my government and Sepak Takraw federation of India for their full support during the training,” Indian team member Kh. Niken Singh told PTI after the match.
Sepak takraw is a volleyball-style sport in which players use their feet, head, knees and chest to hit the ball across the net. They are not allowed to use their hands.
There are six teams in the Asiad competition, with Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea clubbed in Group A, while India was drawn with Iran and Indonesia in group B.
India’s win over Iran ensured its entry into the semifinals on Tuesday. The other semifinalists are Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
The semifinalists are assured of a bronze.
“It is a historic performance by India. It is the first time that India has won a medal in Sepak Takraw in the Asian Games,” said Sepak Takraw Federation of India secretary general Yogendra Singh.
In Women’s Team Regu Preliminary Group A, India lost to Laos 1-2. The side had lost to South Korea 0-3 in its opening match yesterday.