REIGNING OLYMPIC champion Erica Wiebe and Dhronacharya awardee coach Ramphal Mann made a strong assertion that the Mumbai Maharathi was a balanced and strong team capable of retaining the PWL title while addressing the media at a press conference to launch the event logo and announce the team in Mumbai on Friday.
A strong squad of nine wrestlers, spearheaded by reigning Olympic champion Erica Wiebe, and guided by Dhronacharya Awardee Ramphal Mann, has been put together by MUMBAI MAHARATHI, the team that will represent Maharashtra’s cosmopolitan capital and defend their title in the 2nd edition of the Pro Wrestling League, which will see six teams locking horns with each other at the KD Jadhav Stadium, Delhi from January 2 to 19.
Speaking at the occasion, owner Pradeep Seharawat of the Revanta Group said, “we come from a family of wrestlers, with my grandfather and father being wrestlers, before we took to the sport. We are confident that Mumbai Maharathi will once again emerge champions.”
Dhronacharya Awardeee Ramphal Mann, the coach of Mumbai Maharathi is confident in his team’s abilities and expects them to defend the title in the 2nd Pro Wrestling League.
“Mumbai Maharathi is the most balanced and fit team in the league and I am confident of winning the league with this team,” says Ramphal Mann while commenting on the composition of the team. “A mix of experienced and budding talent was considered while forming the team. We had to make sure that all weight categories in the tournament were looked into and the best player’s services for each category were sourced,” added the coach.
The coach also had special words for Icon Wrestler Erica Wiebe and said, “We have the league’s biggest star in Erica and she will be the superstar of the league.”
Erica Wieber will be performing on the biggest stage in her wrestling career and is thrilled to be a part of the Mumbai Maharathi team. “I missed out on the PWL last year as we were busy with our Olympic trials but was determined to compete in this competition, which is the biggest in the world. I have trained hard for this event and am looking forward to leading Mumbai Maharathi to a second title.”
Mumbai Maharathi will lock horns with teams from five other cities, namely Delhi, Jaipur, UP, Punjab and Haryana. Their opening league match will be against Haryana on January 2nd, followed by matches against Punjab (January 5), UP (January 7), Jaipur (January 9) and Delhi (January 13). The two semi-finals are scheduled for January 17 and 18, followed by the final on January 19.
Two International women, two International men, three Indian men and two Indian women wrestlers will make up Mumbai Maharathi.
Leading the squad will be the ‘Golden Girl’ 27-year-old Erica from Cananda, Gold Medalist at the 2016 Rip Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as the Golden Grand Prix in 2015 and will definitely be the trump card for Mumbai Maharathi. The second International female wrestler is Colombia’s Carolina Castilo Hidalgo. The 26-year-old is a South American Games Gold Medalist from 2014 and a bronze medalist from the 2015 Pan American Games.
Mumbai Maharathi also has a strong representation from International male wrestlers, coming from Ukraine and Azerbaijan. The 27-year-old 96-kg behemoth Pavlo Oliinyk is a bronze medalist from the 2015 and 2013 World Championships, besides a Gold Medalist at the 2013 European Championships. The second International male wrestler, Jabariyil Hasanov
is a bronze medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, European Championships and has a fifth place finish in twice bronze medalist at the World Championships and twice gold medalist at the European Championships.
Sarita Mor and Lalita Sherawat are the two Indian female wrestlers, while the Indian male wrestlers are Rahul Aware, Pritam Dalal and Vikas Dagar.
Sarita is the reigning National champion having won a hat-trick of titles since 2014, besides having won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Championships in 2016. She also won a silver medal in the junior Asian Championships in 2015. Lalita is the Commonwealth Games silver medalist from 2014 and also a gold medal winner in the Commonwealth Championships in 2016. She is also the current National champion.
Among the Indian men, the 25-year-old Rahul Aware is a gold medal winner from the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as an Asian Championship gold medalist, while youngsters Pritam Dalal and Vikas Dagar are silver medalists at the junior Asian Championships.
The PWL is the largest and grandest accumulation of global wrestling talent 8888under one roof and will provide non-stop pulsating action that will be watched across the world. The six teams featuring in the PWL will have nine players each with two substitutes and will be vying for a prize purse of Rs 15 crores.
In the second year, PWL will feature a total of 18 ties – 15 in the league phase, 2 semi-finals and the Grand Finale. Each tie will be contested on the best of 9 bouts formats; interestingly all nine bouts will be contested in the League Phase.
PWL guarantees a minimum of 150 bouts. The League will be played under the PWL Rules, conforming to the United World Wrestling and Wrestling Federation of India rules.
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