Royals lord over Hammers

Pro Wrestling League : Punjab emerge champions after tense final

Royals lord over Hammers

NCR Punjab Royals clinched the second edition of the Pro Wrestling League by edging out Haryana Hammers 5-4 in a packed KD Jadhav stadium on Thursday.

With the match locked up at 4-4, Jitendra, with a dominating 10-1 victory over Sumit Sehrawat in the decisive 74kg men’s bout, clinched the maiden title for his team. The victory fetched Punjab Rs one crore and 90 lakh, while Haryana, who had not lost a match en route to the final, had to settle as finalists for second year in a row and took home Rs one crore and 10 lakh.

Hammers, however, were off to a rousing start with their captain Abdusalam Gadisov making short work of Krishnan Kumar in men’s 97kg with a sound 15-0 victory owing to technical superiority. Rio Games Olympic bronze medallist Marwa Amri made it 2-0 for Haryana in the women’s 58kg with a 12-0 victory over Manju Kumari.

It was then left to Punjab captain Vladimer Khinchegashvili, a double Olympic medallist, (gold medal in Rio Games and silver medal in London Games ) to open the account for his team. Khinchegashvili, who had lost to Sandeep Tomar 1-3 at the league stage, ensured there were no let ups this day, with a 3-0 victory.

In the men’s 70 kg, 2016 world champion Magomed Kurbanaliev extended Hary­ana’s lead with a 9-4 victory over Pankaj Rana.

Punjab closed the gap through women’s 75 kg bout with Vasilisa Marzaliuk, a three-time World Championship bronze medallist outclassing Kiran 5-0. 

Punjab then levelled the scores when Ilias Bekbulatov, leading 13-0, was given a walkover over by an injured Rajneesh.

 It prompted a keenly fought women’s 53 kg bout between Haryana’s Sofia Mattsson and an unbeaten Odunayo Ade­kuoroye. Sofia, who had beaten the Nigerian on way to her Rio Olympics bronze, had lost to her in the league stages. But in the crucial bout, the Swede got the better of Odunayo to emerge victorious 4-3.

 But Punjab caught up with Haryana again. In the 48 kg women’s event, Nirmala Devi poured all her experience to beat Indu Chaudhary 5-2. The rest was executed by Jitendra who was lifted on the shoulders by his team-mates following his decisive victory.

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