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Asian Games Wrestling: Antim Panghal handed a tough draw in 53 kg

World Championships bronze medalist Antim Panghal will face a tough opponent early in her draw at the Asian Games 2023.

Asian Games Wrestling: Antim Panghal handed a tough draw in 53 kg

Priya Malik is the 2nd Indian woman after Antim Panghal to win the U20 world title. (UWW)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 5 Oct 2023 9:43 AM GMT

India's biggest medal hope in women's wrestling, U20 world champion and senior World Championships medallist Antim Panghal has been handed a very tough draw in the initial round of the Asian Games 2023.

In the 53kg category, Antim will face second seed Jasmine Immaeva of Uzbekistan and then has Japan's Akari Fujinami in the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old is currently on a winning streak of 127 matches.

While Antim has proved every time that she is made for big things, defeating Fujinami is going to be one of the toughest battles in her short career so far.

Three women's wrestlers- Mansi (57 kg), Radhika (68 kg), and Kiran (76 kg) - have got first-round byes and will be just two wins away from a podium finish.

In the 62 kg category, Sonam Malik will be up against Chand of Nepal in the first round, and if she wins, she will play N Soeurn of Cambodia. Commonwealth medallist Pooja Gehlot will take the mat in the 50 kg category and will be up against Thai wrestler M Esati in the first round.

In men's wrestling, reigning Worlds and Asian champion Aman Sehrawat will feature in the 57 kg category where he will be up against Korean wrestler Kim in the first round.

It will be a good opportunity for the young Indian wrestler to prove himself on a big stage.

Everyone's eyes will be on Bajrang Punia, who will return to the mat after a hiatus of more than a year after the World Wrestling Championships 2022 where he won the bronze medal.

One of the toughest categories in men's wrestling, Bajrang's main opponent will be Iran's Rahman Amouzad, a two-time Asian champion, and Uzbekistan's Abbos Rakhmono. But as cruel as the draw is, the Uzbek and the Iranian will fight in the first round making it easy for Bajrang.

In the 86kg category, Deepak Punia will face the toughest challenge against Iran's Hassan Yazdani and Azamat Daulaetbekov of Kazakhstan, but the Indian won't be meeting them before the semifinals.

With a Greco-Roman wrestler winning a bronze medal on Wednesday, freestyle wrestlers will be hoping to put up a good show at the Asian Games 2023.

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