India Thrash Cambodia To Begin Men’s Volleyball Campaign On Perfect Note
India’s best performance came in 1962 when they finished runners-up. India next face world no.27 South Korea.
Hangzhou: India put up a dominant performance to outclass Cambodia 3-0 in their opening match of the men’s volleyball competition at the Asian Games 2023 on Tuesday. India comfortably defeated lower-ranked Cambodia 25-14, 25-13, 25-19 in a Pool C match.
But a stern test await India on Wednesday as they are up against world No.27 South Korea, the other team in Pool C. A total of 19 teams are participating in men’s volleyball at the Hangzhou Games. Japan, China and South Korea are regarded as the three major powerhouses of the competition.
While Japan has secured 27 podium finishes with 16 golds in men’s volleyball at the Asian Games, China follows closely behind with 11 golds and Korea is on the third spot with five gold medals.
Men’s volleyball was first introduced at the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958, where India secured a third position. The Indian men have won a total of three volleyball medals so far. Their best performance came in 1962 when they were runners-up. India’s other two medals were bronze won in 1958 and 1986, the last of which came 37 years ago.
However, the Indian men’s football team were outclassed 1-5 by China in a Group A tie. Giao Tianyi gave China the lead in the 17th minute before India equalised through Rahul KP just at the stroke of half-time.
But the title contenders came back strongly in the second half as they pumped in four more goals – Dai Weijun (51st), Tao Qianglong (72nd, 75th) and Hao Fang (90+2) to take home the honours.
It was heartening to see a third-string team holding the title contenders on an even keel during the first 45 minutes, which saw Indian custodian Gurmeet Singh Chahal valiantly save a spot-kick taken by rival captain Zhu Chenjie. India now need to beat Bangladesh and Myanmar in their remaining two games to qualify for the second round.