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Pro Panja League kicks-off in Delhi

Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Earth Sciences inaugurated the event at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium. After the curtain raiser, players competed in 70 kg, 100+ kg and 55 kg categories.

Amidst loud cheer and fervour, the first season of Pro Panja League (PPL) kicked-off in Delhi at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Arena, New Delhi. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Earth Sciences, inaugurated the occasion along with actor Pravin Dabas, Co-founder, Pro Panja League.

Dzheenbek Mukambetov, President, Asian Armwrestling, Avazbek Asadov, Vice-President, Asian Armwrestling, Akhmed Aliyev, General Secretary, Asian Armwrestling along with his wife Yelena Aliyeva, were also present on the occasion.

Rijiju, while speaking to the media, shared, his association with the league.

“Not many people know that I was the sports minister when the ranking tournament of the league began in 2020. I am very excited to inaugurate PPL today. I thank Pravin Dabas and Preeti Jhangiani, the co-owners of PPL, for inviting me, and I wish them heaps of success for the future,” he said.

The minister also urged people to watch the league since it align with the Khelo India and the Fit India.

“People might not have the strength to arm wrestle as this sport involves stamina, technique, strength and skill, but they must come and support the teams and players who are participating this season. When Narendra Modi ji introduced Khelo India and Fit India, the idea was to involve every Indian with a sport. What better way to be a part of these programmes than cheering for players,” he added.

After the inauguration ceremony, players competed in the 70 kg, 100+ kg and 55 kg category. The first-day of the play saw Ludhiana Lions and Mumbai Muscle clinching important victory over Kiraak Hyderabad and Baroda Badshahs, respectively.

Ludhiana Lions won the match 14-3. It all began in the undercard, when Shivanshu Kaushik, Shahil Rahul Kumar and Afzal Khan scored a 3-0 lead. Though Ludhiana Lions lost against Kiraak Hyderabad in the first main card bout (80kg category) by 1-3, Sivajith Janardanan and Stewe Thomas recovered in the 70kg category and won 3-0, earning two bonus points.

In the final bout of the game, Sachin Tomar also won the 60 kg bout 3-0 along with another two points, giving Ludhiana Lions a clear win.

In second match of the day, Mumbai Muscle also showcased a wonderful powermance. In the undercard, Umesh Pal won a bout, while Surendra Saini and Bably won the bouts for Baroda Badshahs to get 2-1 lead. Baroda Badshahs' Harman Mann was stunned by Mumbai Muscle's Kyle Cummings, as the latter not only won the bout with a clean sweep, but also won the 10-second Challenge Round within a second to earn 5 bonus points for his side. With a 10-0 win, Kyle showcased his dominance, giving Mumbai Muscle a hefty lead.

Paarth Sonni also brought accolades for Mumbai Muscle when he had a face-off against Shamir Khan in 100+ kg bout. With his deadly hook, he left no room for Shamir to script a comeback for Baroda, and won the bout comfortably 3-0 to earn two more bonus points for his side. With the game already in Mumbai Muscle's kitty, Jogender Yadav came for the final bout against Muzahid Shaikh in 70kg bout, but Muzahid managed to get a consolation 3-1 win for Baroda. Mumbai Muscle won the match 17-5.

PPL features six teams, namely, Kiraak Hyderabad, Mumbai Muscle, Rohtak Rowdies, Ludhiana Lions, Baroda Badshahs, and Kochi KD’s. The winning team will be felicitated with INR20 lakh.

The matches can be viewed live on Sony Sports Ten 3 SD and Sony Sports Ten 3 HD and streamed on FanCode.

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