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Pro Wrestling League 2017: Jaipur Ninjas narrowly edge out Sakshi Malik’s Delhi Sultans

Utkarsh Bhatla


Jaipur Ninjas romped to a second straight win in the ongoing Pro Wrestling League, beating the Delhi Sultans 4-3 at the KD Jadhav Wrestling Stadium in New Delhi.

Elizbar Odikadze, Jakob Makarashvilli, Jenny Fransson and Vinod Kumar Omprakash won their bouts helping Jaipur taken unassailable 4-1 lead. Sakshi Malik was yet to feature, and Delhi had already succumbed to a loss, much to the disappointment of the crowd.

Huge bouts of crowd had come in to witness the Olympic bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik take the field. Everyone expected a stellar performance from her, and she didn’t disappoint. She quickly took up a 8-0 lead against Pooja Dhanda in the first round itself.

This was the first time Sakshi was playing a competitive level game after her Olympic glory, but she didn’t look rusty at all. Pooja had no answer to the supremacy of Sakshi, succumbing to a16-0 loss in five minutes and 32 seconds. Sakshi won through technical superiority.

Another fixture that attracted a lot of crowd attention was Ritu Phogat taking on two time Olympic silver medalist Mariya Stadnik.

Who is Ritu Phogat?

Ritu Phogat is the youngest of the Phogat sisters. She is the 2016 Commonwealth Champion.

After the Aamir Khan starrer ‘Dangal’ released, the Phogat sisters, especially Geeta and Babita have received a lot of applause and attention. Mahavir Singh Phogat, his dream and his desire to make World Champions was also quite evident in the film, something that he has tried to inculcate in all his daughters. And Ritu Phogat is another product of the Mahavir Singh Academy.

But sadly she was no match for her far more experienced opponent, Mariya Stadnik. Stadnik won 16-0, by technical superiority in just 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

Quotes from Sakshi after the game

 “I am really excited to make a comeback. A wrestler does not feel good to be away from the mat for long and I am really happy to be back”

“My confidence has increased manifold after winning the medal at the Rio Games. The Olympics experience has taught me a lot. I was very confident of doing well and I used all my experience to win my bout comfortably against Pooja”

“Before every game we make strategies looking at the opposition. Every match is different with each team having its strengths and weaknesses and we would make strategies accordingly. Me, the coaches and the think-tank will sit together before the next match and discuss what went wrong against Jaipur”

“Today we lost two close bouts. Had those bouts gone in our favour, the result could have been different but we will try and win the next ones”

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