Punjab too good for Delhi

Sakshi Malik and Satyawart Kadian clinched their respective bouts in style but couldn’t end Delhi Sultans’ winless run in the Pro-Wrestling League 2 as they lost to 2-5 to NCR Punjab Royals at the KD Jadhav stadium on Sunday.

Punjab won the toss and blocked the 48 kg Women's category, forcing Delhi's prized pick Mariya Stadnik to sit out. Delhi, in turn, blocked the 70 kg men's category.

Punjab comfortably won their first two bouts through Vladimir Khinchegashvili (57 kg) and Jitendra (74 kg), Khinchegashvili pummeled Pankaj 8-1 who had replaced an ill Erdenebat Bekhbayar. Jitender then pulled off a shock 5-4 victory over favourite Parveen Rana, who was leading 4-0 at one point.

 In the third bout of women’s 53 kg, Odunayo Adekuoroye proved too good for Sangeeta Phogat. Making good use of her height and experience, the Nigerian gave little chance to the Indian, who was egged on by her sister Babita Kumari from the sidelines. She was announced the winner by technical superiority once she extended her lead to 15-0.

It was then left to Kadian (97 kg) to hand Delhi its first win in the tie. He was swift in his attacks and exhibited solid defense to pull off a convincing 14-4 victory against Krishan Kumar.

Kadian’s fiancé and Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi, took forward the winning march in the women’s 58 kg. Against Manju Kumari, Sakshi was quick to take down 19-year-old for two points. She showed strong defense when she diffused Manju’s attempt for a leg attack and enforced an instant counter-attack to stretch her lead to 4-0 in the first round. She continued to dominate in the second round as she attacked at will with successful take downs to sign off with 10-0 victory.

However, Surjeet Grewal of Delhi could not stand up to the challenge of Azerbaijan’s Togrul Asgarov, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist and 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist.

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