Phogat sisters Geeta, Babita ready to rumble for UP Dangal

As captain, Geeta admitted that it would be a big responsibility to lead the charge from the front, specially as she was returning to the mat after being sidelined for the past few months owing to injury.

The team would be led by Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat, besides Commonwealth Games champion Mausum Khatri.   -  PTI

With the second season of the Pro Wrestling League less than a week away, the Uttar Pradesh franchise, on Tuesday, unveiled its new logo and team, christened UP Dangal.

Owned by real-estate company Investors Clinic, the team would be led by the Phogat sisters — Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat — besides Commonwealth Games champion Mausum Khatri (97kg), Amit Dahiya and Amit Dhankar.





Among the foreign signings in the nine-member team are Ukraine’s Andrey Kviatkovski, Cuban Livan Lopez Azcuy, Rio medalist Elitsa Yankova from Bulgaria and Maria Mamashuk of Belarus.

As captain, Geeta admitted that it would be a big responsibility to lead the charge from the front, specially as she was returning to the mat after being sidelined for the past few months owing to injury.

“We are happy to be part of the UP team and ready to defend the title. I assure everyone nothing less than 100% this time from me and the team. I am under a little pressure as I am making a comeback after long time but I am confident as I have a very strong base and never shy away from my training,” she said.

Battle on hand

With the Delhi franchise signing up Rio bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, Geeta knows she has a battle on her hands but insisted she was ready for any opponent. Incidentally, Sakshi had got the chance to qualify for Rio at Geeta’s cost after the latter was barred from participating in the final qualifier on disciplinary grounds, adding drama to the tussle.

“Be it Sakshi or Tunisia’s Marwa Amri (who also won bronze at Rio), I am prepared. I have been training. Sometimes it all boils down to a move or two and that makes all the difference. One never knows how a bout is going to pan out and even in the last 2-3 seconds things can change. It’s all about applying technique and I am working on it,” she said.

Babita added that she was looking forward to learning new techniques from the foreign wrestlers and gain experience. “I think we have a strong team. We have some good foreign wrestlers in our side and are looking at learning a few tricks from them,” she said.

The team: Geeta Phogat (58kg), Babita Phogat (55kg), Mausam Khatri (97kg), Amit Dahiya (55kg), Amit Dhankar (66kg), Andrey Kviatkovski (Ukraine, 65kg), Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba, 74kg), Elitsa Yankova (Bulgaria, 48kg), Maria Mamashuk (Belarus, 75kg).