Punjab Beat Haryana 5-4 to Clinch Pro Wrestling League 2 Title
It all went down to the wire before Jitendra thrashed Sumit Sehrawat in the decider which helped Punjab Royals bag the Pro Wrestling League season 2 title by prevailing 5-4 over Haryana Hammers in the finale at the KD Jadhav stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
Haryana, who remained undefeated so far in the tournament, failed to cross the last hurdle, even as Punjab reigned supreme with their foreign grapplers Vladimir Khinchegashvili, Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov, besides India's Nirmla and Jitendra doing the damage in the crucial ties of the day. None of the categories were blocked in the summit clash.
The encounter of the evening was the fight between two stalwarts - Sofia Mattsson of Haryana and Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye of Punjab – in which the former prevailed by a solitary point to win 4-3 in women's 53 kg.
With determination and resolve, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sofia kept her nerves to eke out a narrow win over the strong Nigerian wrestler who lost the first match of her Pro Wrestling career.
But Punjab scored the equaliser 4-4 through Nirmla Devi, who beat Indu Chaudhary 5-2 in women's 48 kg to take it to the last match the deciding tie.
As it came down to the last encounter, Punjab's Jitendra made it a one-sided affair in the men’s 74kg category as he maintained a healthy lead throughout the bout, ultimately winning 10-1.
Earlier, Haryana's Abdusalam Gadisov took down Punjab's Krishan Kumar, finishing off the bout in 2 minutes and 26 seconds in men's 97kg category. Attacking aggressively. a sight uncharacteristic in heavyweight wrestling, Gadisov won 15-0 via technical superiority.
Marwa Amri stamped her authority on the mat, overpowering Punjab's Manju Kumari 12-0 in the 58 kg Women's category. Rio Olympics bronze medallist from Tunisia overwhelmed her rival by sheer experience and pedigree and made short work of the Indian 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 men's 57 kg and gave Punjab their first points of the evening.
Magomed Kurbanaliev, World Championship gold medallist, however extended Haryana's lead by thrashing Pankaj Rana 9-4 in men's 70 kg.
Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov then won back-to-back bouts for Punjab rather comfortably to tie the match 3-3.
Haryana's Kiran had her task cut out against the 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.
In the second round also, Vasilisa managed to take down the Indian once to win it 5-0 in women's 75 kg.
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 65 kg.
(With inputs from PTI.)