New Delhi, January 20: Punjab Royals on Thursday defeated Haryana Hammers and bagged the Pro Wrestling League Season 2 title (PKL) at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. Notably, in the clash of final match Punjab Royals had a great comeback and defeated Haryana Hammers by 5-4.
With the nine-bout match tied 4-4, National champion Jitendra played a beautiful knock in the last and decisive game and registered a comprehensive win against Haryana’s Sumit Sehrawat by 10-1 and sealed the tournament in his team’s favour.
Jitendra dominated right from the start to win 12-1 and gift the title to Punjab. With Jitendra leading 2-1 early in the second period, an injury to Sumit forced a temporary stoppage for medical attention to the Haryana wrestler.
Jitendra grabbed the initiative immediately after the restart and opened up an 8-1 lead. That virtually killed off the contest as Jitendra executed another takedown in the final seconds to take a comfortable win as the Punjab squad and supporters erupted in celebration.
Earlier, Abdusalam Gadisov handed Haryana the best possible start as he outclassed Punjab's Krishan Kumar by technical superiority in the men's 97 kilogram division. Marwa Amri outclassed Punjab's Manju Kumari 12-0 in the women's 58 kg bout to double Haryana's lead. The score was 2-0.
While Punjab captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili reduced the gap for his team with a 3-0 win over Haryana's Sandeep Tomar in the men's 57kg contest. Russian star Magomed Kurbanaliev further increased Haryana's lead to 3-1 with a 9-4 verdict over Pankaj Rana in a bitterly fought men's 70kg contest. The score was 3-1.
Vasilisa Marzaliuk reduced Punjab's deficit to a single point with a 5-0 win over Haryana's Kiran in the women's 75kg section. Further, Punjab drew level at 3-3 when Ilias Bekbulatov overpowered Haryana's Rajneesh within 58 seconds in the men's 65kg category. The score was now 3-3.
Haryana regained the lead through Sofia Mattsson who registered a dramatic, hard-fought 4-3 win over Punjab's Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye in the women's 53kg category. But in 8th bout, Punjab clawed their way back to level terms once again with Nirmala Devi edging out Indu Chaudhary 5-2 in the women's 48kg contest thus ensuring that the contest went right down to the wire. The score was 4-4.
In the final bout Punjab’s Jitendra defeated Haryana’s Sumit and Punjab won the title. Punjab reigned supreme with their foreign imports Vladimir Khinchegashvili, Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov, besides India's Nirmla and Jitendra doing the damage in the crucial ties of the day.
Punjab’s Nirmala Devi (48kg) was adjudged the best wrestler of the final. The winners were presented with the Champions trophy along with a prize money of whopping 1 crore and 90 lacs. The runners up took home a prize money of 1 crore and 10 lacs.
The results: Final: Punjab Royals beat Haryana Hammers 5-4 [Women: 48kg: Nirmala Devi bt Indu Chaudhary 5-2; 53kg: Odunayo Adekuoroye lost to Sofia Mattsson 3-4; 58kg: Manju Kumari lost to Marwa Amri 0-12; 75kg: Vasilisa Marzaliuk bt Kiran 5-0; Men: 57kg: Vladimir Khinchegashvili bt Sandeep Tomar 3-0; 65kg: Ilias Bekbulatov bt Rajneesh 13-0 (retired hurt); 70kg: Pankaj Rana lost to Magomed Kurbanaliev 4-9; 74kg: Jitendra bt Sumit Sehrawat 10-1; 97kg: Krishan Kumar lost to Abdusalam Gadisov 0-15].
Pro Kushti League:
i) The Pro Wrestling League (PWL) is the initiative of ProSportify and wrestling Federation of India.
ii) The first season of this league will be among 6 city-based teams, with 66 wrestlers from different countries of the world.
iii) Three-time women's world champion Adeline Gray of USA called the league a "historic move in international wrestling that, by bringing in huge sums of money, has taken a bold step in popularizing the sport at world level."
iv) The six team compete in the league. Each team consists of a total of 1 Icon and 8 other players. Among them, there are 5 Indians and 4 foreign players, consisting of 5 men and 4 women.
v) The six teams in season two are Haryan Hammers, NCR Punjab Royals, Mumbai Maharathi, Jaipur Ninjas, Colors Delhi Sultans, UP Dangal.
vi) There will be 5 weight categories (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg) for men, and 4 weight categories (49 kg, 53 kg, 58 kg, 69 kg) for women. Each team can block one weight category before the bout starts.
vii) The league is played on the 'best of nine', and each bout have 2 rounds of 3 minutes each, separated by a 90 seconds break.
viii) Revanta Mumbai Garuda was the winner of the Pro Wrestling League Season 1.