Sarita Mor shocked World Championships bronze medallist and favourite Pooja Dhanda in a close bout to keep UP Dangal alive in the semifinal race of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) with convincing win over MP Yodha, in Greater Noida on Friday. It was Georgi Sakandelidze of Qatar who put the UP team 3-2 ahead in the tie with a dominating 16-1 win over the young Akash Antil in the 125kg super heavyweight category.
After that Sarita, who has shown mark improvement with every bout in the league this season, did not let Pooja make another of her famous comebacks to win the women’s 57kg bout 6-5 and seal the tie. Jitender put the icing on the cake for UP Dangal by completely dominating Vasil Mikhailov in the inconsequential men’s 74kg bout 7-2.
Earlier, European champion Haji Aliyev came back from a two-point deficit early in the first round to beat UP Dangal’s Pankaj Rana by a huge 18-2 margin to give the debutants a head start.
In the next bout, UP Dangal’s Epp Mae of Estonia defeated Colombian Andrea Olaya by a pin fall. Sandeep Tomar made it 2-0 for MP Yodha winning the next bout with a takedown on the counter-attack against Rahul 5-1 after an intense tussle in the men’s 57kg category.
After encountering a reverse against Pinki in an earlier round, world and European champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of UP kept her guard intact in this one and defeated Ritu Phogat 8-3.