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  Sports   In Other sports  21 Jan 2017  PWL season 2: Jitendra guides Punjab to title

PWL season 2: Jitendra guides Punjab to title

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 21, 2017, 1:59 am IST
Updated : Jan 21, 2017, 6:37 am IST

Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov then won back-to-back bouts for Punjab comfortably to tie the match 3-3.

Punjab Royals co-owner Bobby Deol and players celebrate with the Pro Wrestling League trophy after beating Haryana Hammers 5-4 in the Season 2 final in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Punjab Royals co-owner Bobby Deol and players celebrate with the Pro Wrestling League trophy after beating Haryana Hammers 5-4 in the Season 2 final in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

It went down to the wire before Jitendra thrashed Sumit Sehrawat in the decider to help Punjab Royals bag the Pro Wrestling League Season 2 title by prevailing 5-4 over Haryana Hammers in a keenly contested summit clash in the capital on Thursday night.

Haryana, who were undefeated so far in the tournament, failed to cross the last hurdle, even as Punjab reigned supreme with their imports Vladimir Khinchegashvili, Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov, besides India’s Nirmla and Jitendra doing the damage in the crucial ties of the day.

The encounter of the evening was the fight between stalwarts Sofia Mattsson of Haryana and Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye of Punjab in which the former prevailed by a solitary point to win it 4-3 in the women’s 53kg bout.

It was Odunayo’s first defeat of the tournament as Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sofia kept her nerves to eke out the win over the strong Nigerian.

Both wrestlers were engaged in a battle of superior offence and defence, delighting spectators with their maneuvers before Sofia gained the last point to give Haryana an upper hand in a controversial decision.

But Punjab scored the equaliser (4-4) through Nirmla Devi, who beat Indu Chaudhary 5-2 in the women’s 48kg to take it to the last match.

It was expected to be a neck-and-neck battle between Sumit and Jitendra in the men’s 74kg but Punjab’s Jitendra made it a one-sided affair as he maintained a healthy lead throughout the bout, and ultimately claimed it easily with a 10-1 victory.

Earlier, Haryana’s Abdusalam Gadisov set the tone for the evening, making his and his team’s intentions clear early on, winning his bout 15-0 via technical superiority in the men’s 97kg category.

Marwa Amri stamped her authority on the mat, overpowering Punjab’s Manju Kumari 12-0 in the 58 kg women’s category to give Haryana a 2-0 lead.

Punjab captain and 2016 Olympics gold medalist Vladimir Khinchegashvili avenged his group stage defeat to Sandeep Tomar by getting the better of the Indian 0-3 in the men’s 57kg and gave Punjab their first point of the evening.

Magomed Kurbanaliev, world championship gold medallist, however extended Haryana’s lead by thrashing Pankaj Rana 9-4 in the men’s 70kg.

Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov then won back-to-back bouts for Punjab comfortably to tie the match 3-3.

Haryana’s Kiran had her task cut out against experienced Vasilisa, who opened her account by pushing the Indian out of the mat before taking her down, to lead 3-0 at the break. Vasilisa managed to take down the Indian once again to win it 5-0 in the women’s 75kg.

Haryana’s Rajneesh faced an uphill task as his more accomplished opponent, Bekbukatov effected takedowns and rolled him over and over again in the first 57 seconds of the tie to clinch the bout 13-0 in men’s 65kg. Rajneesh was also injured in the process.

Tags: pro wrestling league, nirmla devi