Defending champions of Mumbai Maharathi came out winners against UP Dangal 5-2 on Day 6 of the Pro Wrestling League Season 2 at the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium here on Saturday. Star wrestler Geeta Phogat was unable to participate in the women's 58 kg category after suffering from high fever.
UP won the toss and blocked the 97 kg Men's category, staving off the threat of Pavlo Olinyk, whereas Mumbai decided to block the 53 kg Women's category, making Babita Kumari sit out for the tie. The tie commenced with a dramatic opening bout fought between UP's Amit Dhankar and Mumbai's Pritam in the 70 kg Men's category. The more experienced Amit Dhankar dominated the better part of the bout, however Pritam managed to stage a miraculous comeback to score three points in the last few seconds to register a victory. Mumbai prevailed in the first bout 3-3 by virtue of Last Point Win.
2016 Olympic medalists Maria Mamashuk from UP and Mumbai Captain Erica Wiebe fought the second bout of the evening in the 75 kg Women's category. Erica used all her experience and agility to overpower Maria 4-0 as Mumbai took a 2-0 lead in the tie. Mumbai continued their dominance in the game, with Colombian Carolina Castillo Hidalgo beating UP Captain and 2016 Olympics Bronze medalist Elitsa Yankova 4-1 in the 48 kg Women's category. Yankova had a tough time on the mat as Carolina kept attacking her, eventually managing a clear takedown to score decisive points. Carolina's upset over Yankova meant Mumbai had a 3-0 lead in the tie.
UP Dangal made a fighting comeback in the fourth bout as Andrey Kviatkovski's last point win over Mumbai Maharathi's Vikas Kumar in the 65 kg Women kept the game alive for UP. Andrey displayed pure aggression in the bout, scoring a clear four points by taking down Vikas in the standing position. Although Vikas tried every trick in his book, Andrey denied him the lead, exhibiting great defence and being quick on his feet. Eventually, the bout went in UP's favour even as the scores were tied 4-4.
Mumbai responded strongly, as Sarita overwhelmed UP grappler Manisha 9-1 in a one-sided fifth bout. Manisha, who replaced Geeta Phogat in the tie, went down to Sarita in a crucial bout that witnessed the latter execute powerful tackles, taking down Manisha to score points rapidly. Mumbai clinched the bout and the tie as they gained an unassailable 4-1 lead.
Geeta Phogat was ruled out from participating in the 58 kg Women's category as she was suffering from high fever and had been advised by her doctor not to take part in the match.2016 Olympics Bronze Medalist Jabrayil Hasanov from Mumbai exhibited his class and prevailed over UP's Tariel Gaphrindashvili 3-1 in the 74 kg Men's bout, extending Mumbai's lead by 5-1. Tariel, who was playing in his first bout of the season, struggled against the attacking manoeuvres of Hasanov, as UP was left with one final bout to salvage their pride.
The final bout was an action-packed performance by Indian wrestlers Amit Kumar Dahiya of UP and Rahul Aware of Mumbai. Even though UP gave away a point due to passivity, Amit ensured that their side did not go down yet again, scoring a couple of points towards the final moments of the bout to win 3-2. Mumbai Maharathi, however, emerged victorious as they won the tie 5-2.
Commenting on team’s victory Erica Wiebe, Mumbai Maharathis captain said, “It has been a fantastic night for the team. We worked really hard and I am proud of each and every team member. Carolina came out strong and she has certainly set the tone for the entire team. Sarita on the other hand showed the fire and energy she has within. Big win tonight!”
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