MUMBAI CITY will be represented by Mumbai Garuda in the inaugural Pro Wrestling League from December 10, 2015. The team name was announced by team owner Dr. Uday Garudachar on Saturday, who also introduced a strong nine-member team, on whose powerful and capable shoulders will rest the hopes and aspirations of millions of wrestling fans from Mumbai and Maharashtra, when they take on grapplers from other city-based teams for top honours in the world’s first ever Pro Wrestling (Greco Roman) League.
While the team will have USA’s triple World Champion Adeline Gray as the Icon Wrestler, Dhronacharya Awardee and celebrated coach Mahabir Prasad will guide the team’s fortunes.
“Garuda is a symbol of force, a mighty bird. The name Garuda speaks of a force that is hard to defeat and the name commands respect. Team Mumbai Garuda is all set to fly high just like the bird Garuda, said Dr. Uday Garudachar, Managing Director of Garuda Group while explaining the rationale behind the team name. “The Garuda Group Bangalore, India has been into development of shopping malls and real estate for over a decade now and it is proud to be a part of the Mumbai Garuda team as part of its sports development initiative,”
added Dr. Garudachar, who also released the logo of the team. The Atulya Mafatlal Group is also a part of the team.
Dhronacharya Awardeee Mahabir Prasad, the coach of Mumbai Garuda is confident in his team’s abilities and expects them to go the distance in the inaugural Pro Wrestling League.
“Mumbai Garuda is the most balanced and fit team in the league and I am confident of winning the league with this team,”
says Mahabir Prasad 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 Adeline Gray and said,
“We have the league’s biggest star in Adeline and she will be the superstar of the league.”
Mumbai Garuda will lock horns with teams from five other cities, namely Delhi, Gurgaon, Ludhiana, Noida and Bengaluru.
Two International women, two International men, three Indian men and two Indian women wrestlers will make up Mumbai Garuda.
Leading the squad will be the 24-year-old Adeline from USA, who has to her credit three World Championship Gold medals and two bronze medals. Adeline has won gold medals in 2012, 2014 and 2015, with bronze medals in 2011 and 2013 and will definitely be the trump card for Mumbai Garuda. The second International female wrestler is Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye. The 21-year-old is Commonwealth Gold Medalist from 2014 and a bronze medalist from the 2015 World Championships.
Mumbai Garuda also has a strong representation from International male wrestlers, both coming from Georgia. The 25-year-old 125-kg behemoth Levan Berianidze is a bronze medalist from the 2010 World Championships, while the 26-year-old Odikadze Elizbar is a silver medalist from the 2015 European Championships and has a fifth place finish in the 2015 World Championships.
21-year-old Ritu Phogat and 23-year-old Sakshi Malik are the two Indian female wrestlers, while the Indian male wrestlers are Rahul Aware, Amit Dhankar and Pardeep.
Ritu is a silver medalist from the Junior World Championships 2014, besides winning two bronze medals at the Junior Asian Championships, while Sakshi is a Commonwealth Games silver medalist as well as a bronze medal winner at the Sr. Asian Championships.
Among the Indian men, the 24-year-old Rahul Aware is a gold medal winner from the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as an Asian Championship gold medalist, while Amit Dhankar is an Asian Championship gold medalist.
Dr Uday Garudachar felt that the one special thing fans and viewers can expect from Mumbai Garuda would be the local connect. A sports enthusiast himself, Dr. Garudachar said that the aim of Mumbai Garuda in the first season would be to make sure that the competition is well fought and gains all the appreciation and respect it deserves from all sport lovers in the country.
“We are confident that the Mumbai Garuda team will perform exceptionally well this season and is sure to finish on a high note,”
he signed off.
The PWL is the largest and grandest accumulation of global wrestling talent under one roof and will provide non-stop pulsating action that will be watched across the world. The League will feature nearly 100 top international wrestlers from 25 countries, including Olympic and World Championship stars, and over a 100 Indian wrestlers.
The wrestlers include more than 20 medal winners from the World Wrestling Championship held in Las Vegas in October 2015. Others include medal winners in European Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and other international events.
The Pro Wrestling League, with 6 city-based franchisee teams, will be played in six cities across North, South, East & West Zones in India. Each team will feature 9 players on the mat with 2 substitutes – 5 men and 4 women (includes 5 International and 4 Indian players).
In the inaugural 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