India’s men’s regu team bagged the bronze medal at the ongoing 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, despite losing 0-2 against Thailand in the semi-final.

India had defeated Iran 21-16, 19-21, 21- 17 in the first match of the preliminary stages to make a winning start to their campaign. They, however, lost to Indonesia 0-3 in the second match in Men’s Team Regu Preliminary Group B but advanced to the last-four stage and had ensured at least 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,” Sepaktakraw Federation of India secretary general Yogendra Singh Dahiya had told PTI.

Sepaktakraw 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.

The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and onto the floor of the opponent’s court to score a point. Players are allowed to use their legs, head and torso to contact the ball, but any contact with their arms or hands is an infringement of the rules. A game of Sepaktakraw is played between two teams, known as Regu. Each Regu has three players on court and two substitutes. More here.  

There are six teams in the Asiad competition with Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea clubbed in Group A, while India were drawn with Iran and Indonesia in group B. India’s win over Iran ensured their entry into the semi-finals.

In Women’s Team Regu Preliminary Group A, India had lost to Laos 1-2 and to South Korea 0-3 and were eliminated.