World Championship bronze medallist Narsingh unfazed by Pro Wrestling League intensity

New Delhi: The mood in the Bengaluru Yodhas camp is one of quiet optimism as the team gets ready to dive into the inaugural Pro Wrestling League season, facing Haryana Hammers in the opener on the 12th of December at Delhi's KD Jadhav stadium.

With the inaugural edition of the PWL lasting for just under three weeks, pre-season preparations have assumed increased importance. The Indian contingent of the Yodhas underwent a 10-day training camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Sonepat and Kuldeep Malik, the coach of the Yodhas says that the value of the time spent in Sonepat would be seen as the tournament progresses. 


"It was important for our team to train in a cohesive and intense manner before the start of PWL. All our wrestlers were coming off a break after the World Championships and it was essential for them to find good rhythm. Over the last 10 days, we have ensured that we have sparred with good opponents, worked on our fitness and I am confident that Bengaluru Yodhas will put up a strong show once the tournament begins," said the 54-year-old Malik. 

Captained by Narsingh Yadav, the 2015 World Championship bronze medallist in the 74 kg category, the Yodhas have assembled a formidable squad. Bajrang Punia, the 2013 World Championship bronze medallist will be competing in the 65 kg category while Sandeep Tomar is the representative in the 57 kg category. The 2013 European Champion, Pavlo Oliynik of the Ukraine will grapple in the 97 kg category while London Olympics silver medallist Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia will fight in the 125 kg category. In the women's draw, USA's Alyssa Lampe and five-time World Championship medallist Yuliya Ratkevich of Azerbaijan are the two foreign faces. While Alyssa will wrestle in the 48 kg category, Yuliya will compete in the 58 kg category. Joining them are Lalita Sehrawat and Navjot Kaur who will wrestle in the 53 kg and 75 kg category respectively.

Icon player Narsingh Yadav, who will be the team captain, said that while the mood in the camp was upbeat, it was necessary to maintain focus and not let the intensity of performance dip."While the duration of the League is short, we will need to maintain our focus and determination. We are wrestling almost every three days and it is important that we take care of our bodies. In Sonepat we have worked very hard on our fitness as we look to minimise injuries and build good match-rhythm," he said.

London Olympics bronze medallist, Azerbaijan's Yuliya Ratkevich joined up with the Yodhas squad on Tuesday in Delhi after having competed at the Golden Grand Prix in her native country. Yuliya said that though the foreign representatives of the Yodhas have arrived just a couple of days before the start of the League, she sees no reason to doubt their match-fitness. "All the foreigners including myself have been busy competing in a number of tournaments. We are fit and ready to go. Three of our four foreigners wrestled at the Golden Grand Prix and judging by their performances there, I don't think any of us will have a problem in performing in these conditions," she said.

Bengaluru Yodhas Schedule: 




12th December 2015

New Delhi

Haryana Hammers

15th December 2015


Mumbai Garudas

17th December 2015


Punjab Royals

19th December 2015


UP Warriors

23rd December 2015


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