Jaipur Ninjas registered a comprehensive 5-2 victory over Punjab Royals in a Pro Wrestling League (PWL) contest at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday. (FULL SCHEDULE)
Jakob Makarashvili (74kg), Pooja Dhanda (women’s 58kg), Jenny Fransson (women’s 75kg) Vinod Kumar Omprakash (70kg) and skipper Elizbar Olikadze (97Kg) won their respective bouts for Jaipur.
Skipper Vladimir Khinchegashvili (57kg) -- the reigning Olympic champion and the most expensive wrestler this season -- and Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye (women’s 53kg) were the the only bright spots for Punjab on the night.
World and European bronze medallist Jakob Makarashvili handed Jaipur the lead with a 12-4 win over Punjab’s Jitendra.
Jitendra, the current Commonwealth champion, gave a tough fight initially but Jakob’s superior technique and experience ultimately proved to be too much for him.
Jitendra opened up a 2-0 lead early on but the Georgian flipped him over to level the scores.
Another successful two-point move saw him go into the break with a 4-2 lead.
Jakob increased his lead just after the resumption with another two-pointer before conceding a couple of points.
The Punjab wrestler then went for a leg hold which initially troubled Jakob but the 2016 World Cup bronze medallist produced a successful counter which earned him two points.
The Georgian showed excellent technique to continue his domination and complete what proved to be a comfortable win at the end.
Pooja Dhandha then doubled Jaipur’s lead by defeating Punjab’s Manju Kumari 4-1.
Skipper Vladimir Khinchegashvili pulled one back for Punjab by overcoming a tough challenge from Jaipur’s Indian youngster Utkarsh Kale in the men’s 57kg category.
Vladimir, the reigning Olympic champion, saw off a tough challenge from Kale to notch up an 8-5 win.
Kale surprised Vladimir in the early stages with his aggression. The Jaipur wrestler took a 2-0 lead almost immediately after the start and then threw the Olympic champion off balance with an excellent move.
But the Georgian used his experience to good effect by producing a successful counter and a subsequent tackle which brought him a total of four points.
An ankle hold fetched Vladimir another two points as he went into the break with a 6-2 lead.
The Georgian increased his lead by another couple of points early in the second round before Kale pulled one back.
The Indian however, ensured an exciting finish with a successful takedown in the final seconds to earn two points much to the appreciation of the noisy crowd in the packed stadium.
But that was the only bit of success Punjab could enjoy for quite a while as the Jaipur wrestlers stamped their authority on the contest with successive wins.
Swede Jenny Fransson made it 3-1 for Jaipur by edging out Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Punjab 3-2 in the women’s 75 kg category.
Jaipur’s Vinod Kumar Omprakash then outmuscled Pankaj Rana of Punjab 5-3 in an exciting affair.
Although Vinod drew first blood, Rana produced a two pointer before pushing his opponent out of the safety zone to go into the break with a 3-2 lead.
But Vinod staged a strong comeback in the second round to hand Jaipur an unassailable 4-1 lead.
Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye bagged some amount of consolation for Punjab with a rather one-sided victory over Betzabeth Arguello in the women’s 53kg category.
The 2015 World Championship bronze medallist made good use of the leg hold to take an almost insurmountable 12-0 lead in the first period before completing a victory by technical superiority after the break.
Jaipur captain Elizbar Olikadze closed out a superb outing for his team by overpowering Punjab’s Krishan Kumar in the men’s 97kg division.
The Georgian turned it into a virtually one-sided affair by opening up a 6-0 gap within the first two minutes of the opening period.
Leading 7-0 at the interval, the European Championship medallist bagged five more points in the second period before the bout was stopped due to technical superiority.