Panchkula, January 18, 2019: Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi Malik won the low-scoring decider against Asian Championships gold medallist, Navjot Kaur, to give Delhi Sultans their first win of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) Season 4 which is currently underway at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium in Panchkula. This was Sakshi’s first match this season and she started off cautiously but managed to prevail over the Asian champ in a hard-fought encounter.
Earlier, Delhi Sultans’ Pankaj, up against the 2018 World Junior Championships silver medallist UP Dangal’s Naveen in the men’s 57kg category, was not deterred by the reputation of his opponent and maintained his attacking mode all through the bout to win it 7-0 and give the Sultans a head start in the tie. Naveen tried to create some opening late in the second round but couldn’t break Pankaj’s strong defence.
For the 2017 Asian Championships silver medallist Sarita it was baptism by fire and she came out unscathed. She had to win this 57kg bout against Katherina Zhydachivska to bring UP back in the tie and she stole one point with an escape in the first round and a takedown in the second was enough to give her a 3-0 win in the end.
The Delhi Sultan’s captain Khetik Tsabalov was trailing Jitender by a point at the break in the 74kg men’s bout. But one takedown and two near fall gave the Delhi skipper eight points to take complete control of the proceedings. On the counter-attack, Jitender managed to take Khetik down once but ran out of time to go down 3-8 and let the Sultans take a 2-1 lead in the tie.
In a major upset of the evening, national championships gold medal winner Pinki turned the tables on the 2018 European Championship silver medallist Vanesa Kaladzinskaya to win it 8-7 in an edge of the seat thriller. Vanesa started on an aggressive note and took down Pinki in the first few seconds of their 53kg category bout to bag two points. But showing excellent technique Pinki scored four points through a near fall. Vanesa edged ahead with one point from an escape and two more from a takedown. But with just a few seconds to go on the clock, Pinki pined Vanesa down to score an unbelievable win and put the Sultans 3-1 ahead in the tie.
The men’s 86kg and 125kg category bouts went on expected lines with both the foreigners for UP Dangal—Irakli Misituri and Georgi Sakandelidze—winning their bouts against Praveen and Santander Malik of Delhi Sultans respectively and push the tie to the decider. Both of them won 6-0.