Ludhiana, Jan 20: Defending champions Punjab Royals defeated Delhi Sultans 4-3 in a Pro Wrestling League match here on Sunday, thanks to the brilliant performance of Bajrang Punia.
Bajrang Punia didn’t let the home fans down winning the decider against Andrey Kviatkovski of Delhi Sultans 9-0 in a closely fought 65 kg encounter between the two world championships participants.
After the reversal of fortunes in the last encounter against Mumbai Maharathi, this was a much-needed win for the defending champions.
In the sixth bout, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Delhi’s Sakshi Malik didn’t break much sweat while defeating 2018 national championships silver medallist Punjab’s Anita 11-0 and push the tie to the decider. This was a much improved performance by Sakshi than the one she had against Navjot Kaur of UP Dangal in the last match.
Earlier, the 2017-18 World Military Championships gold medallist Russian Khetik Tsabalov of Delhi Sultans won the first bout of the evening against the Asian Championships bronze medallist Punjab Royals’ Vinod Kumar 14-0 after the referee awarded the bout to the former mid-way through the second round due to technical superiority. Khetik was leading 10-0 at the break.
Punjab Royals’ 2018 European Championships bronze medallist Cynthia Vescan withstood a tough challenge from the 2018 European U23 Championships gold medallist Delhi Sultans’ Anastasia Shustova to win the bout 2-1 and restore parity for the defending champions.
In the men’s 86 kg category, the 2016 European Championship bronze medallist Dato Magarisvili of Punjab Royals dismissed last year’s national champion Praveen of Delhi Sultans scoring an impressive 12-0 win on technical superiority under two minutes.
National champion Delhi Sultans’ Pinki defeated national runners-up Punjab Royals Anju in the 53 kg bout between two familiar foes.
Pinki was coming to this bout riding on the wave of an upset win over world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya in the previous round. But Anju gave Pinki a good run for her money before succumbing 4-9. Both teams were two wins apiece at this stage.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Korey Jarvis of Punjab Royals won the 125 kg bout against Delhi Sultans Satender Malik 7-2 despite the Indian holding the Canadian at bay for most part of the bout.
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