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Wrestler Antim Panghal decides to skip Asian Wrestling Championships

World Championships medallist Antim Panghal decided to skip the continental tournament to focus on her Olympic preparations.

Antim Panghal Wrestler

Antim Panghal


Pritish Raj

Updated: 2 April 2024 9:47 AM GMT

Delhi: World Championships medallist Antim Panghal decided to skip the upcoming Asian Wrestling Championships, starting on April 11, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Antim's childhood coach Vikash Bhardwaj confirmed the development and cited preparation for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics as one of the major reasons behind her decision.

"She won't be competing in the Asian Championships. We have decided to take this decision to focus on the preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics," Vikas told The Bridge over the phone.

Two-time U-20 World Championships gold medallist Antim has been out of action since October 2023 after having a stellar year. She won a bronze medal on her debut at the World Championships. She also defended her U-20 World Championships and won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. She is the only Indian wrestler to win a Paris Olympics quota place so far.

Antim was conferred with the Arjuna Award for enjoying a great year in 2023.

However, she skipped the National Championships in February and was given a direct berth for the Asian Championships. Antim also suffered a muscle strain before the trials that ruled her out of the event.

Now, as Antim has recovered from her injury, she is looking to train abroad to prepare for the Olympics.

"As expected she recovered from the injury at the end of March. We are now planning to train in foreign but nothing is decided as of now," Vikas said.

In the absence of Antim, Anju, who won a medal at the U-23 World Championships in 2021, will take her place in the 53 kg category after winning the selection trials in Patiala.

The national camp for the wrestlers was over last week and the first set of Indian wrestlers are expected to fly for the Asian Championships a couple of days before the event.

The second set of Indian wrestlers led by seasoned Vinesh Phogat will travel to Bishkek to fight for Olympic quota places at the Asian qualifiers scheduled to start on April 19.

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