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World Wrestling C'ships: Antim Panghal stuns World Champion, will play for bronze

Antim Panghal stunned world champion Olivia Dominique Parris in the 53 kg category at the World Wrestling Championships.

World Wrestling Cships: Antim Panghal stuns World Champion, will play for bronze
The 19-year-old Antim Panghal will be looking to make history at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Sep 2023 5:20 AM GMT

Indian wrestler Antim Panghal stunned reigning World Champion Olivia Dominique Parrish of the USA in the first round of the UWW World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Panghal came back from 0-2 down to defeat the reigning World Champion in the 53 kg category.

Antim defended a slender lead of 3-2 to walk as the winner in a match where she was trailing earlier. The American started with a quick take-down and earned two points.

Unfazed by the score, Antim continued her strong defense after that and didn't concede any points in the first period. Panghal got hold of the left leg of Olivia and completed a successful take-down to make it 2-2.

The American wrestler lost a point due to passivity and Antim Panghal walked out as a winner.

Continuing her fine run, Antim defeated Roksana Zasina of Polan in the pre-quarters by 10-0 to fix her place in the quarterfinals.

In the quarter-finals, Antim defeated Russia's Natalia Malysheva 9-6 to reach the semifinals in the 53 kg category. In the semi-final, Antim lost a tough battle against Vanesa Kaladzinskaya by 4-5.

Antim will still be in contention for a bronze medal and Olympic quota tomorrow.

In other weight categories, Manisha Bhanwala (62 kg), Priyanka (68 kg), and Jyoti Berwal (72 kg) lost their respective bouts in the round of 32.

Antim remains India's only hope to win an Olympic quota in the tournament. The wrestlers are playing as neutral athletes due to the suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India by the United World Wrestling.

Five Indian women wrestlers and ten men's freestyle wrestlers have already exited the tournament without winning either an Olympic quota or a medal in non-Olympic categories.

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