Punjab beat Haryana in PWL tie
New Delhi: Latvia's Anastasija Grigorjeva and India's Pooja Dhanda powered Punjab Royals to a scintillating 4-3 victory over Haryana Hammers in a Pro Wrestling League (PWL) tie at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.
Needing a point to close the tie, World Championship bronze medallist Grigorjeva did not fail to deliver, scoring a comfortable 6-0 victory over Sarita in the women's 62 kilogram category to steer Punjab to their second victory of the league with a bout remaining.
In the inconsequential last contest of the night, Commonwealth champion Roublejit Singh Rangi of Haryana beat his compatriot Nasir 9-0.
A couple of bouts before that, Pooja recorded the biggest victory of her career when she defeated reigning World and Olympic champion Helen Maroulis of US 7-6 in the women's 57kg division.
It gave Punjab a crucial 3-1 lead in the seven-bout duel.
Pooja began well and took a 2-0 lead in the opening period. She continued to attack in the next round and hopped to a comfortable 7-0 lead.
The two-time World Champion fought back well but could manage only 6 points as the Indian defended superbly.
Trailing 1-3, Haryana's World Championship silver medallist Khetik Tsabolov defeated Jitender 11-0 in the 74-kg competition to keep his side alive in the tie.
Earlier on winning the toss, Haryana Hammers elected to block European champion Ilyas Bekbulatov of Russia while Punjab kept Rio Olympics' bronze medallist Sun Yanan of China out of action.
The Hammers began on a winning note, with Vladimir Khinchegashvili of Georgia hammering current national champion Utkarsh Kale 11-4 in the men's 57kg division.
The Olympic champion was at his imperious best, racing to a 5-0 lead in the opening period. He maintained his stronghold going further into the contest, though Utkarsh did manage to score a few points.
Punjab asserted their dominance in the next two bouts, through France's Koumba Larroque and their icon wrestler and World champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia.
Koumba, the World Championship bronze medallist, beat Pooja 6-2 in the women's 76kg section while Geno registered a thumping 15-0 victory, through technical superiority, over Sumit in the men's 125kg clash to guide Punjab to an early 2-1 lead.