Riding on Olympic bronze medallist Sun Yanan and Roublejit Rangi’s victories Haryana Hammers downed UP Dangal 4-3 in the last league encounter of the Pro Wrestling League, at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, New Delhi on Tuesday.
The win enabled the Hammers to finish second in the points table and interestingly they will again face Dangal in the semifinals. Veer Marathas will take on Punjab Royals in the other semifinal.
Down 2-3 after five bouts, the Hammers needed to win their last two matches and Sun Yanan and Roublejit Rangi did so in style. Sun Yanan set the ball rolling by beating Vinesh Phogat 15-7, denying the Indian a chance of avenging her Rio Olympic debacle. Vinesh got off to a good start, even leading Sun Yanan 3-0 in the initial minutes of the 50-kg clash. However, the Chinese was up to the task and bounced back with a gritty display and took the tie to the decider as she overcame the initial deficit with a sweeping 15-7 win.
Dangal’s Vicky Chahar too started off confidently and led Roublejit 2-0 at the break. The Hammers’ grappler, however, recovered from it and used his experience to seal the clash 9-4 and win the tie for his side. Earlier, Haryana Hammers won the toss and chose to block the burly Jamaladdin Magomedov while the Dangals opted to keep Sarita Mor (62-kg) out of action.
In the men’s 57-kg category, UP Dangal’s Nitin Rathi’s efforts to continue his giant-killer streak fell through as he lost 2-6 to the 2016 Olympic gold medalist Vladimir Khinchegashvili. Rathi grabbed the early initiative, taking the lead but Vladimir used his experience to overpower Rathi and emerge victorious 6-2.
The women’s 57-kg weight category saw World Champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya beat Pooja Gahlot in a one-sided affair to make it 1-1. Vanesa didn’t give her opponent any space and took an unassailable 12-0 lead in the first round itself. She didn’t step off the gas in the second round either and pinned Gahlot to restore parity in the tie.