Kabaddi has all ingredients to become Olympic sport: Rathore

Pro kabaddi

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathoresaid indigenous sport kabaddihas got all the ingredients to become an Olympic sport. Unveiling the first edition of Kabaddi Masters Dubai, Rathore said: “Hopefully kabaddi will very soon become a global sport and we will see it emerge as a strong contender for an Olympic sport.”

The nine-day six-nation meet has participation from football-crazy Latin American nation Argentina who are competing at the international level only second time after the 2016 World Cup in Ahmedabad.

Kenya are also making their international debut here.

AjayThakur Kabbadi
“Kabaddi has got all the qualities to become an Olympic sport. It has got speed, agility, power and teamwork. Hopefully when kabaddi comes to Olympics we will clinch the first gold medal,” the 2004 Olympic silver medallist said.

“The fact that Kabaddi has come to Dubai and crossed Indian borders, it’s an extremely positive step. I’m sure many more countries will be joining,” said Rathore.

As of now, 33 countries play Kabaddi.

Rathore is happy that courtesy Pro Kabaddi League, the players have become stars now.

“There’s been a very positive shift. Now when kabaddi players walk into the airport, people want to take photos with the players,” he said.Asked whether kabaddi can become a national sport, Rathore said: “India has place for every sport. There was a time when people would think cricket is the only sport other sport can’t grow.

Indian Kabaddi team in 6-nation Kabaddi Masters
New Delhi: Indian Kabaddi team led by Ajay Thakur pose for a photo ahead of their participation in 6-nation Kabaddi Masters to be held in Dubai, in New Delhi on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (PTI Photo) (PTI6_19_2018_000056B)

“People would say cricket is like a banyan tree, other sport can’t grow under it. Now see how Indians have embraced all the sport. Is it necessary that we should give position and official designation to every sport?” he asked.

Recently, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to officially recognise hockey as the national sport of India.

“Tell Odisha Chief Minister that they did not embrace yoga which is over thousand years old, why speak about hockey now…”

Rathore witnessed India’s 36-20 win over arch-rivals Pakistan played at the Al Wasl Sports Complex with boisterous supporters from both the countries.

Asked whether India can play Pakistan at a neutral venue in cricket, he said: “This is a multilateral event. And in multilateral event we play all countries including Pakistan, be it cricket or any other sport.”

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com



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