PWL: Jaipur begins its campaign with a win

The biggest and most expensive Indian name this season, Ritu Phogat (48kg) was blocked by Punjab captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili but even without her, Jaipur had it easy.

Elizbar Odikadze (97kg) dominated with a 12-0 win against Krishan Kumar in the final bout.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Newcomer Jaipur Ninjas began its campaign in the Pro Wrestling League with a comfortable 5-2 victory against Punjab Royals on the second day of the competition here on Tuesday.

Nigerian Odunayo Adekuoroye maintained her unbeaten record for Punjab in the League, carrying on from where she left off in the inaugural season to thump Venezuela’s Betzabeth Arguello 16-0 in the 53kg category in just three minutes 50 seconds for Punjab’s only second win in the match.

Odunayo attacked from the start and, with a takedown from the standing position, raced to a 6-0 lead inside the first minute. A couple of rollovers later, she led 12-0 with just two minutes gone and it looked like the bout would be over in the first round itself but Betzabeth went defensive.

It didn’t matter as Odunayo grabbed her ankles and another takedown from upright position gave her the four points needed to end the bout on technical superiority (a difference of 15 points).

The biggest and most expensive Indian name this season — Ritu Phogat (48kg) — was blocked by Punjab captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili but even without her, Jaipur had it easy. Punjab was badly affected by the blocking of former European and Olympic champion and Rio Games silver medallist Toghrul Asgarov (65kg).

Khinchegashvili, who won gold at Rio, won the only other bout for Punjab, outmuscling a fighting Utkarsh Kale 8-5 in the 57kg category even as his Jaipur counterpart Elizbar Odikadze (97kg) dominated with a 12-0 win against Krishan Kumar in the final bout.

Earlier, Georgia’s Jakob Makarashvili gave Jaipur a winning start with a facile 12-4 win against Jitendra in the men’s 74kg bout. Jitendra took the first two points but thereafter it was the Georgian all the way.

Jaipur’s Pooja Dhanda won 4-1 against Manju Kumari (Pun) in the 58kg while Jenna Fransson barely managed to edge past Vasilisa Marzaliuk 3-2 in the 75kg and Vinod Kumar Omprakash beat Pankaj Rana 5-3 in the 70kg.