Punjab Royals picked up Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia for Rs 30 lakhs during the players draft of the Pro Wrestling League in Gurugram on Friday. The fourth edition of the PWL will be held from January 14-31, offers a purse of Rs 1.9 crores for the winning team and Rs 1.1 crore for the runners-up team.
Another Asiad champion Vinesh Phogat went to Mumbai Maharathi for Rs 25 lakhs. Both Bajrang, who will take part in the 65kg category, and Vinesh, who will wrestle in the 53kg category, featured for UP Dangal in the last edition. Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik (62kg), who was with Mumbai Maharathi in the last edition, was picked by Delhi Sultans for Rs 20 lakhs.
The highest-paid foreign wrestlers were Venesa Kaladzinskaya (53kg) from Belarus, who went to UP Dangal, and Khetik Tsabalov (74kg) from Russia for Delhi Sultans, for Rs 25 lakhs each.
The Delhi Sultans also got Gold Coast CWG gold medalist Rahul Aware (57kg) and 2018 World Military Championship gold medalist Khetik Tsabolov from Russia, who will feature in the 74kg category.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Pooja Dhanda (57kg), went to debutant MP Yodhas along with national champion Ritu Phogat (53kg) and Sandeep Tomar (57kg). Another prize catch for the debutants has been 2018 European Championship gold medalist Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan who will wrestle in the 65Kg category.
Two youngsters in fray, 2018 World Junior Championship gold medalist Anastasia Nichita (57Kg) of Moldova goes to Haryana Hammers and 2018 Junior National Championship gold medalist Sachin Rathi (74Kg) goes to Mumbai Maharathi.
The 2018 European Championship bronze medalist Tayana Omelchenko (62Kg) from Azerbaijan was also picked by Haryana Hammers along with 2017 Commomwealth Games silver medalist Praveen Rana (74Kg).
The 2018 Pan American Championship bronze medalist Betzabeth Angelica (57Kg) from Venezuela went to Mumbai Maharathi. Four national championship gold medalists last year i.e. Amit Dhankhar (74Kg) went to Punjab Royals, Jitender (74Kg) went to UP Dangal, Rajneesh (65kg) went to Haryana Hammers and Harphool (65Kg) went to Mumbai Maharathi.