Wrestling league’s power puff girls

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTWORLD - Sau­rabh Dug­gal

CHANDIGARH: In­dian wrestling’s fa­mous Phogat sisters have added an­other feather to their cap. It is prob­a­bly for the first time in the sport’s his­tory that five girls of the same fam­ily are com­pet­ing in one league, the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) in this case.

The Phogat sisters — Geeta (26), Babita (25), Vi­nesh (22), Ritu (21) and Priyanaka (21) — are rep­re­sent­ing their re­spec­tive fran­chises in the PWL which be­gan last Thurs­day.

In­ter­est­ingly, four of them will face each other dur­ing the course of the league. Vi­nesh and Ritu are in the 48kg weight cat­e­gory and rep­re­sent­ing Dilli Veer and Mumbai Garuda, re­spec­tively. Babita and Priyanka are in the 53kg cat­e­gory and are rep­re­sent­ing UP War­riors and Pun­jab Roy­als, re­spec­tively. The fifth, Geeta, who dur­ing the 2012 Lon­don Games cre­ated his­tory by be­com­ing the first In­dian woman wrestler to com­pete in the Olympics, is the icon player for Pun­jab Roy­als and is com­pet­ing in 58kg cat­e­gory whose life ac­tor Amir Khan is mak­ing a movie, was beam­ing with pride. While Babita, Geeta and Ritu are his own daugh­ters, Priyanka and Vi­nesh are daugh­ters of his deceased brother and them up as well.

They all live to­gether at Balali Vil­lage of Bhi­wani, Haryana. Sangeeta (17) also from the same fam­ily has now picked up the sport and won sil­ver in the last year. Be­ing a ju­nior she was not con­sid­ered for the league, but it in the years to come, there could be a sixth Phogat sis­ter com­pet­ing in the league.

“When I in­tro­duced Geeta and Babita to wrestling there was no girl in the vil­lage with whom they could wres­tle, so they used to wres­tle with their male cousins. But to­day I am happy to see both boys and girls par­tic­i­pat­ing to­gether in the league,” said Ma­havir. “All the five are equal to me. I only want them to show­case their

JS GRE­WAL/HT PHOTO

Ritu Phogat of Mum­bai Garuda has earned ₹14 lakh from the Pro Wrestling League this sea­son.

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