New Delhi, Dec 12: Harya Hammers started their campaign on a winning note by defeating Dilli Veers 5-2 in a Pro Wrestling League (PWL) contest at the KD Jadhav Wrestling Stadium here on Saturday.
Boasting the likes of Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg) and reigning world champion and current World No.1 Oksa Herhel (women’s 58kg) in their ranks, Hammers domited their opponents right from the start although the Dilli Veers did put up a strong fight in some of the bouts.
The contest marked Yogeshwar’s return to competitive wrestling after a long hiatus. The star grappler seemed to struggle with his fitness in the second round, but still maged to win his bout.
Olympic bronze medallist Livan Lopez of Cuba gave Harya the early lead by easily outclassing Delhi’s Dinesh Kumar 7-0 in the men’s 74kg category.
Promising youngster Gurpal Singh brought the Dilli Veers back on level terms by defeating the Hammers’ Argentinian wrestler Yuri Maier 11-0 in the men’s 97kg event.
Gurpal took four points in the first minute of the opening bout by bringing his opponent down with a leg hold. He then consolidated his lead by picking up three more points before the end of the round.
Yuri, a silver medallist at the Pan Am Games, was no match for the Indian youngster in the second round as well. Gurpal picked up two points right at the start of the second period by bringing Yuri down.
The Bhatinda lad then used his superior physical strength to good effect by pushing Yuri out of the are to pick up two more points and win the bout by technical superiority.
Oksa wrested back the advantage for Harya by defeating Dilli’s Yesilirmak Elif Jale by fall in the women’s 58kg section.
Jale, a bronze medallist at the 2015 World Championships, took a 1-0 lead in the first round.
But Oksa, who attracted the highest bid at the PWL auction, lived up to her billing by overpowering her opponent in the next round.
Hitender increased Hammers’ lead by defeating Krishan Kumar of Dilli Veers 7-4 in the men’s 125kg category.
Hitender took a four-point lead right at the start. The Dilli Veers coaching staff contested the referee’s decision. But their objection was overruled by the jury who awarded an additiol point to the Harya wrestler.
Starting the second round with a comfortable 5-0 lead, Hitender suffered a setback when Krishan brought him down to earn four points.
But the 2013 Asian Championships bronze medallist picked up three straight points in the closing stages to win the bout.
In the women’s 69kg, Harya’s Geetika Jakhar fought back from a 0-2 deficit against Nikki of Dilli Veers to level the scores at 2-2 and win the bout.
Dilli Veers captain Vinesh Phogat defeated Harya’s Nirmala Devi 10-0 in the women’s 48kg event to pull one back for her team. Vinesh was much too superior to her opponent and wrapped up the contest by fall within the first round. IANS