PWL 2017: The Dark Knight Of Indian Wrestling
Punjab Royals emerged victorious after producing one of the most dramatic comebacks in recent memories to edge out the Haryana Hammers 5-4 in the final of the second edition of the Pro Wrestling League at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
The runners up from the last edition Haryana, saw the title slip away from their grasp for the second year in succession in what proved to be an exhilarating conclusion to the grand annual wrestling event. With both teams deadlocked at 4-4, the fate of the championship rested on the shoulders two wrestlers viz Punjab’s Jitendra and Haryana’s Sumit in the men’s 74 Kg division. But Jitendra dominated the fight from the get go and emerged victorious 10-1 thus clinching the title for Punjab in what proved to be a great advert for not only the PWL but Indian wrestling in general.
Wrestling in India.
India has long been associated with the sport of wrestling and the names of Dara Singh and Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav have been the pioneer of the sport in our country since the early 1950’s. Indian wrestling has been on a high ever since Sushil Kumar brought India a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a feat that was later eclipsed by Sushil and Yogeshwar in London and Sakshi Malik in Rio. Indeed, the advert that Indian wrestling has received through the biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat and the Phogat sisters in Dangal has also helped immensely in taking Indian wrestling to a larger audience.
But amidst all the glitz and glamour, the role of the PWL towards the success of the Indian wrestling contingent on the grand stage cannot be overshadowed. Boasting some of the best wrestlers from India and indeed abroad, the PWL has helped the younger generation to benefit from training with and learning from some of the best in the world. It has given these young upcoming wrestlers some much-needed confidence and motivation to prove themselves on a grand stage.
Sandeep Tomar, who caused a major upset by defeating Olympic Champion Vladimir Khinchegashvili earlier in the tournament, was one of the many Indian wrestlers who showed their full potential against some of the best in the world earlier in the tournament despite losing out to the same wrestler in the final.
The advent of the recently organised annual wrestling tournament can only be beneficial for the sport of wrestling in our country as it will continue to provide some of the young wrestlers to improve their technique and performance against some of the best wrestlers in the world. The sport of wrestling has greatly benefited from the advent of the PWL and it shall continue to provide new wrestling superstars as well as engage and popularise the sport of wrestling among the youth of the country and encourage the young children to take up wrestling as a sport. Additionally, the popularity of the sport in our country will generate the necessary revenue and sponsorship for better facilities and better equipment for the wrestlers to train on.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the PWL can be considered a boon to the sport of wrestling and the long continuation and through the promotion of the sport can benefit greatly the sport of wrestling in our country and perhaps someday put India back to its rightful place as one of the giants of World Wrestling.