In the ongoing Pro Wrestling League 2017, the UP Dangal team’s hope of winning in the second season took a massive hit when their star players Phogat sisters – Geeta and Babita — were ruled out of the tournament on fitness grounds. However, the team was relieved when Geeta was declared fit. She will now be available for the encounter against NCR Punjab Royals on Tuesday.
The Uttar Pradesh franchise had named themselves as UP Dangal after the real-life Dangal girls were included in the team, following the release of Aamir Khan-starrer, Bollywood film ‘Dangal’, based on the wrestlers’ struggle.
Talking about it, UP team owner Sunny Katyal said, “Babita got injured while playing against Haryana Hammers. She was not able to stand still even for a minute against Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Mattsson. In the last match against Mumbai Maharathi, Babita was replaced by national champion Pinki, but unfortunately she was blocked in the 58kg category. She was facing Olympic bronze medalist Marwa Amri of Tunisia. But now with Geeta’s availability, her supporters are excited. After the success of the film, everyone is eager to see her in action. Babita won’t be able to play but she will be present to support her teammates.”
Speculations were rife that Reshma Mane, the grappler in the higher weight category, has been taken into consideration as she was asked to reduce her weight to fit into 58kg, so that she could wrestle it out on Geeta’s category.
In the last match where UP Dangal were up against Mumbai Maharathis on Saturday night, Manisha was seen fighting in the women’s 58kg when Geeta was down with high fever.
Meanwhile, the bout between Mausam Khatri and Krishna in 97kg and another one between Amit Dhankar and Pankaj Rana in the 70kg weight category is expected to be quite interesting. Geeta will face national champion Manju while Punjab will be relying on their star player World champion Vladimir (57kg) and Odunayo (53kg).
Punjab also suffered a setback as the two-time Olympic medallist Togrul Asgarov was ruled out due to neck injury and has been replaced by Continental Championship gold medalist Russia’ Ilyas Bekbultov.
Punjab co-owner Dharmpal said that after beating Mumbai and Delhi, they have gained confidence. “I was also a wrestler. With that experience I can surely say that Punjab team definitely has the ability to become champions,” he said.
Feature Image Credit: Boxofficeadda.com
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