Punjab enter PWL final

File Photo : Punjab Royals
IANS|24-Jan-2018 21:25

New Delhi, Jan 24 : Defending champions Punjab Royals went a step closer towards retaining their title as they produced a dominant show to storm into the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) final at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday night.

Their star players took a commanding 4-0 lead against Veer Marathas before conceding the first point in the nine-bout tie. 

Pooja Dhanda then lived up to her new-found reputation of giant killer to down World Championship silver medallist Marwa Amri to seal their place in the final.

Pooja began on the wrong foot, losing two points to Marwa in the first period. She, however, bounced back smartly in the next period to turn the contest around. She did one better by pinning the Tunisian and scoring the victory that took the Punjab Royals into the title round.

Earlier, in the first clash of the night, Punjab Royals' Ilyas Bekbulatov got his side off to a flying start, overshadowing the Marathas' Amit Dhankar 10-4 in the men's 65 kilogram clash.

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Ilyas took Dhankar down twice and led 4-0 at the break. In the second round, he overpowered the Indian with his might and took six points in quick succession to take an unassailable 10-0 lead. 

The European Champion then relaxed a bit, allowing Amit to take four consolation points.

In the women's 76kg clash, France's Koumba Larroque gave the Royals a 2-0 advantage as she upset World Championship silver medallist Vasilisa Marzaliuk after an initial scare.

Vasilisa, used her technical superiority to race away to a narrow 2-1 lead. The young Frenchwoman, however, bounced back after the initial hiccups to overthrow the 31-year-old from Belarus to win 4-3.

In a battle of the men's heavyweights (125kg), former world champion Geno Petriashvili put the Royals' in further control with his side's third consecutive win. He took a comfortable 4-1 victory over Marathas' Armenian star Levan Berianidze.

Levan's extra cautious approach gave Geno a 2-0 lead due to his passivity. The Armenian then displayed urgency to clinch his first point but that wasn't enough to ward off Geno.

Down 0-4 in the tie, Georgi Ketoev breathed some life back into the Marathas as he towered over young 2016 Cadet World Championship medallist Deepak Punia 9-2.