Vinesh Phogat, who became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games last year, and world championships silver medalist and first Indian to secure the No. 1 freestyle slot in 65kg category world rankings, Bajrang Punia, are two of the top draws in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) 2019 players draft that is scheduled to be held in Gurgaon on Friday.
Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik and 2010 Summer Youth Olympics silver medalist Pooja Dhanda are two other top wrestlers who will be part of the draft on Friday. The fourth edition of the popular wrestling league is scheduled to start from January 14, 2019. The league which is scheduled to go on till the 31st offers a price purse of Rs 1.9 crores for the winning team and Rs 1.1 crore for the runners-up team.
The brain child of ProSportify and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Pro Wrestling League is the biggest Olympic wrestling league in the country and it promises to be bigger and better than ever this year with the addition of a new team from Madhya Pradesh – MP Yodha. There are totally six competing teams – Delhi Sultans, UP Dangal, Haryana Hammers, MP Yodha, Mumbai Maharathi and the NCR Punjab Royals.
The previous three editions of the PWL have been hugely successful and have showcased wrestling from – 20 Rio 2016 Olympic medalists, 30 world championship medalists, 51 Olympians, 13 continental games champions and 34 world and continental champions. They have also seen a staggering 3,764 points scored by the wrestlers which comes down to almost 70 per match.
As the teams meet today to pick their choice of wrestlers from the draft, they will have a strong pool of 225 players which includes prominent Olympic medalists, continental champions, world champions and other wrestlers from all over the world. The league will also see participants from Asia, Europe, Africa and the American continent.