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Haryana beat UP Dangal in PWL



New Delhi, Jan 24: Haryana Hammers Sun Yanan and Roublejit Rangi won the last two bouts against UP Dangal to win the last league encounter of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) here at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium on Tuesday.

Their victories handed the Hammers' the second position in the points table and a semi-final against the same opponents. Veer Marathas will take on Punjab Royals in the other last eight clash.

Down 2-3 after five bouts, the Hammers needed to win their last two matches and Sun Yanan and Roublejit Rangi did so in style. Olympic bronze medallist Sun Yanan set the ball rolling by beating Vinesh Phogat 15-7, denying the Indian the pleasure of avenging her Rio Olympic debacle.

Vinesh got off to a good start, even leading Sun Yanan 3-0 in the initial minutes of the 50-kg clash. However, the Chinese bounced back with a gritty display and took the tie to the decider with a sweeping 15-7 win. 

Dangal's Vicky Chahar too started off confidently and led Roublejit 2-0 at the break. The Hammers' grappler, however, recovered from it and used his experience to seal the clash 9-4 and win the tie for his side.

Earlier, Hammers won the toss and chose to block the burly Jamaladdin Magomedov while the Dangals opted to keep Sarita Mor (62-kg) out of action.

In the first clash of the night in the men's 57-kg category, UP Dangal's Nitin Rathi's efforts to continue his giant-killing streak fell through as he lost 2-6 to the 2016 Olympic gold medallist Vladimir Khinchegashvili.

The women's 57-kg weight category saw World Champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of UP Dangal tower over Helen Maroulis' replacement Pooja Gahlot 14-4.

Russia's Khetik Tsabolov (74kg) then warded off UP Dangal's Asian Championship gold medallist Bekzod Abdurakhmonov 7-6 to help Haryana Hammers take a narrow 2-1 lead.

Dangal promptly bounced back to restore parity through Hungary's Zsanett Nemeth. She dominated Pooja Sihag and won 6-1 in the 76kg clash.

In an all-Indian clash in the men's 65-kg category, Dangal's Bajrang Punia registered his second win of the tournament against Harphool Gulia after initially going down 0-1 on points. Punia fought back to win 3-2.

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