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'My focus is on preparations for Asian Games': Antim Panghal

Two times U20 Wrestling World Championships gold medallist Antim Panghal vows to make her presence felt in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Antim Panghal Wrestler

Antim Panghal has been currently nursing an injury. (Photo credit: Pritish Raj/TheBridge)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Aug 2023 9:45 AM GMT

Antim Panghal, who has recently become the first Indian female wrestler to defend the World U20 Wrestling Championships gold in 53kg, has switched her focus on the forthcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou. The 19-year-old is vowed to make a mark at the Asiad too.

A 53kg wrestler, Antim, who challenged star wrestler Vinesh Phogat's direct entry into the Asian Games, has a point to prove after the Jakarta Asiad gold medallist pulled out of the China Games following a knee injury, requiring a surgery.

"My joy had no bounds when I came to know that I will be going to the Asian Games as Vinesh di withdrew due to a knee injury," Antim told the reporters on Sunday after returning home from in Amman, Jordan.

"My focus has completely shifted to the preparations for the Asian Games and upcoming trials for the senior World Championships," she added.

The Indian women's team registered a historic performance, winning seven medals - three gold, one silver and three bronze. India also won the team gold medal for the first time.

Besides Antim, Savita (62 kg) and Priya Malik (76 kg) won the yellow metals. Antim Kundu bagged silver in 65kg, while Reena (57kg), Arju (68kg), and Harshita (72kg) won a bronze medal each.

Earlier in July, Antim had won the Asian Games trials but was kept on stand by the IOA-appointed ad-hoc committee, currently in charge of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), as Vinesh Phogat was handed a direct entry to the Asian Games.

Antim had moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the decision, but her plea was quashed at that time. With Vinesh pulling out now, Antim will make her debut at the Asian Games.

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