Latvia’s Anastasija Grigorjeva and India’s Pooja Dhanda powered Punjab Royals to a scintillating 4-3 victory over Haryana Hammers in the Pro Wrestling League here at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. Needing a point to close the tie, World championship bronze medalist Grigorjeva did not fail to deliver, scoring a comfortable 6-0 victory over Sarita in the 62-kg competition 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 probably the biggest victory of her career, when she defeated reigning World and Olympic champion Helen Maroulis of USA 7-6 (57 kg) in the fourth bout of the day. 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 medalist Khetik Tsabolov defeated Jitender 11-0 in the 74-kg competition to keep his side alive in the tie.
The Hammers began on a winning note, with Vladimir Khinchegashvili of Georgia hammering current national champion Utkarsh Kale 11-4 in the 57-kg competition. 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.
Koumba, the World Championship bronze medalist, beat Pooja 6-2 in the 76-kg women’s event while Geno registered a thumping 15-0 victory, through technical superiority, over Sumit in the super heavyweight clash to guide Punjab to an early 2-1 lead in the tie.
Punjab Royals bt Haryana Hammers – 4-3
Utkarsh Kale lost to Vladimir Khinchegashvili– 4-11
Koumba Larroque bt Pooja – 6-2
Geno Petriashvili bt Sumit –15-0
Pooja Dhanda bt Helen Maroulis – 7-6
Jitender lost to Khetik Tsabolov – 0-11
Anastasija Grigorjeva bt Sarita – 6-0
Nasir lost to Roublejit Singh Rangi- 0-11