New Delhi : Defending champions Punjab Royals put up a dominant show to storm into the finals of the Pro Wrestling League here at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
The 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 a giant killer to down World Championship silver medalist 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 Marathas’ Amit Dhankar 10-4 in the men’s 65-kg clash.
Ilyas took Dhankar down twice and led 4-0 at the break.
However, in the second round, he overpowered the Indian with his might and took six points in quick succession to take an unassailable lead 10-0 lead.
In the women’s 76-kg clash, France’s Koumba Larroque gave the Royals a 2-0 advantage as she upset World Championship silver medalist 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 heavyweights (125-kg), 2017 World Champion Geno Petriashvili put the Royals’ in further control with his side’s third consecutive win. He eked out a narrow 4-1 victory over Marathas’ Levan Berianidze.
Levan’s extra cautious approach gave Geno a 2-0 lead due to his passivity. The Armenian wrestler then displayed urgency to clinch his first point, but it was not enough to ward off Geno.
Down 0-4 in the tie, Georgi Ketoev breathed some life back into the Marathas, as he towered over the young 2016 Cadet World Championship medalist Deepak Punia to win the bout 9-2. (ANI)