Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat to feature in PWL season-opener in Panchkulahttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/bajrang-punia-vinesh-phogat-to-feature-in-pwl-season-opener-in-panchkula/

Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat to feature in PWL season-opener in Panchkula

The Punjab Royals had defeated Haryana Hammers in two consecutive finals in the last two seasons.

World No. 1 in 65kg, Bajrang will spearhead the Royals’ challenge while a fiery Vinesh will add spark to the force of Maharathis. She will compete in 53kg category. (AP)

Asian Games gold medallists Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat will be cynosure of all eyes as NCR Punjab Royals will begin their title defence with a clash against Mumbai Maharathi in the season-opener of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL), here Monday.

The Punjab Royals had defeated Haryana Hammers in two consecutive finals in the last two seasons.

World No. 1 in 65kg, Bajrang will spearhead the Royals’ challenge while a fiery Vinesh will add spark to the force of Maharathis. She will compete in 53kg category.

Junior Asian Championship runner-up Naveen, will be seen wearing the NCR Punjab Royal colour in the 57 kg category.

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Apart from the two Asiad gold medallists, the evening will also see 2017 European Championship silver medallist Zsanett Nemeth in the 76kg female category competing for Maharathi along with Pan-American Championship bronze medallist Betzabeth Angelica and national champion Harphool.

Former world champion Alina Stadnik has been replaced by Cynthia Vescan who was a bronze medallist at the recently concluded European Championships held in Kaspiysk, Russia.

There will be lot of expectation from Sachin Rathi and Deepak Punia after their gold-medal winning show at the Junior Asian Championships. Rathi had ended India’s gold drought in the Junior Asian Championship with a sensational performance and he along with Deepak is expected to play a major role in Maharathi’s campaign.