NCR PUNJAB ROYALS dominated over Colors Delhi Sultans 5-2 at the end of an action-packed week of the Patanjali Powervita Pro Wrestling League Season 2 at the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium.
Punjab won the toss and blocked the 48 kg Women's category, implying that Delhi's prized pick Mariya Stadnik had to sit out for the match. Delhi, in turn, blocked the 70 kg Men's category.
The opening bout of the evening was fought between Punjab's Vladimir Khinchegashvili and Delhi's Pankaj, who replaced foreign import Erdenebat Bekhbayar. Punjab denied Delhi their first win of the season as 2016 Olympics God medalist Khinchegashvili won the 57 kg Men's category by an 8-1 margin. Pankaj struggled against the strength and experience of Khinchegashvili even as the Georgian grappler and Captain of the Punjab team took him down from standing positions to accumulate points.
Colors Delhi Sultans rested Mongolian grappler Erdenebat Bekhbayar for the tie on grounds of his illness.
The second bout of the tie was an exciting contest between Delhi's Parveen Rana and Punjab's Jitendra in the 74 kg Men's category. Although Parveen Rana was leading comfortably by a 4-0 margin at the end of the first round, Jitendra fought back with determination, shocking Jitendra to win 5-4. giving Punjab a 2-0 advantage in the tie. Jitendra was adjudged the player of the tie.
Punjab won the next bout as well, as the flamboyant Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye overpowered Delhi's Sangeeta Phogat 15-0 to register an emphatic victory by virtue of Technical Superiority. Odunayo was dominant throughout her bout, effecting clear takedowns and converting them into rollovers to score points rapidly, leaving Sangeeta clueless in her time on the mat. Odunayo entertained the crowd after her win by performing her characteristic victory dance. The Nigerian wrestler, who won Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has remained unbeaten in both seasons of the Pro Wrestling League this far.
Colors Delhi Sultans kept the game alive in the fourth bout as Satyavart Kadian prevailed over NCR Punjab Royals' Krishan Kumar 14-4 in a high-octane contest. Using clever and decisive attacking moves, Satyavart score more points and held firm in his defence even as a late surge from Krishan Kumar was not enough to deny Delhi a victory in the 97 kg Men's heavyweight category.
2016 Olympics Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik kept up the good work done by her fiance and Delhi teammate Satyavart, as she registered a 10-0 victory over Punjab's Manju Kumari in the 58 kg Women's category. Sakshi, the cynosure of all eyes following her Olympic success, did not disappoint her fans as she took down her opponent with ease and was solid in her defence to come out on top, providing Delhi with a fighting chance in the tie.
Punjab's Togrul Asgarov, who won Silver at the 2016 Olympics and Gold at the 2012 Olympics stamped his authority on the mat as he walloped Delhi's Surjeet Grewal 6-0 in under 30 seconds, Winning By Fall in the 65 kg Men's category. Surjeet, who had replaced prized catch Bajrang Punia for the tie, was unable to last long against the two-time Olympic champion.
The final bout of the evening went in Punjab's favour, as a closely fought contest was won by Vasilisa Marazaliuk 2-1. The Belarus-born wrestler kept Delhi's Alina Makhynia at bay, even as the latter tried all the attacking moves in her book. NCR Punjab Royals emerged victorious in the tie, winning over Colors Delhi Sultans 5-2.
Punjab Captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili said:
"My team is awesome! I am very confident to become champions this season."
Togrul Asgarov from the Punjab camp said:
"I have good amount of experience in Olympics and world championships hence I believe I am able to apply my techniques at the right moment. This is my first time participating in the league hence, it's a great learning experience being here in PWL."
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