Sakshi Malik’s first bout in the second season of the Pro Wrestling League was expectedly a one-sided affair but even she could not help her team Delhi Sultans avoid defeat as Jaipur Ninjas won 4-3 for its second win in as many matches.
The Rio Olympics bronze medallist won by technical superiority 16-0 in five minutes 34 seconds against compatriot Pooja Dhanda in the 58kg category. Taking off a point each for passivity in the first two minutes, Sakshi stepped up her game to dominate, take down and rollover Pooja repeatedly to race to an 8-0 lead in the last 20 seconds of the first round. It soon became 14-0 inside four and half minutes but a defensive Pooja kept stalling before she was pushed out of the competitive area for the final point that ended the bout.
By then, however, Jaipur had already taken the seven-game tie 4-1. Delhi also suffered the absence of Bajrang Punia in the 65kg after he was blocked by rival captain Elizabar Odikadze. Jakob Makarashvili edged past a fighting Praveen Rana 10-7 in the 74kg after trailing 5-2 at one point as the lead kept exchanging hands before the Georgian darted in for two quick ankle holds that resulted in take downs and four points in 15 seconds towards the end of the bout to ensure victory.
Georgian Odikadze overpowered Satyavrat Kadian 8-0 in the 97kg category, Rio medalist Jenny Fransson won 5-0 against Alina Makhynia in the 75kg and Vinod Kumar Omprakash won 2-0 against David Tlashadze in the 70kg.
Azerbaijan’s triple Olympic medalist (bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012 and 2016) and former World Champion Mariya Stadnik decimated Ritu Phogat in the 48kg category to win 16-0 in three minutes 16 seconds for the other Delhi victory by technical superiority. Leading 6-0 at the end of Round One, Mariya threw Ritu on the mat and turned her over for 10 points in 16 seconds and end the bout. Mongolian Erdenebat Bekhbayar managed to win 2-1 against Utkarsh Kale in the 57kg in the final bout to reduce the margin for Delhi but it mattered little.
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