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PWL: Punjab is champion

Crucial tie: Sofia Mattsson got past Odunayo Adekuoroye in the women’s 53kg bout.  

The 74kg weight category in Indian men’s wrestling may have two of the most famous names in the country — Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav — but it was national champion Jitendra who made the difference at a packed K.D. Jadhav Stadium here on Thursday.

Jitendra won the last and decisive bout in the second season of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) to help Punjab Royals take the title 5-4 against Haryana Hammers.

Hammers came up short in the final. With the nine-bout match tied 4-4, Jitendra, the reigning Commonwealth Championship winner, was favourite against Sumit Sehrawat in the 74kg and duly delivered, dominating all through and winning 10-1 to seal the deal in his team’s favour.

Till then, however, the tie went as per script with the big names winning their bouts easily even as the foreign wrestlers proved their worth. Haryana captain Abdusalam Gadisov kept his unbeaten record in the competition intact, winning on technical superiority against Krishan Kumar by racing to a 15-0 lead in just two-and-half-minutes.

His Punjab counterpart Vladimir Khinchegashvili, who had suffered an upset against Sandeep Tomar earlier, ensured there would be no repeat with a single take down in a narrow 3-0 win in the 57kg, all the points coming in the first round.

The crucial tie for both teams was in the women’s 53kg with Haryana’s Rio bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson up against Nigerian Odunayo Adekuoroye and the former who had lost in the league stage for her only defeat so far in the PWL this season, managed to edge ahead 4-3 by virtue of getting a penalty point after Punjab's protest was rejected right at the end.

Punjab’s Nirmala Devi (48kg) was adjudged the best wrestler of the final.

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].

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:50:05 PM |

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