Indian youngster Antim Panghal has been in brilliant form recently as she bagged her second U20 World Championships medal and is raring to show her skills at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Panghal challenged Vinesh Phogat’s direct entry into the Asian Games and also went to court with her plea. She now has to prove herself on the big stage as luck has favoured the youngster with Vinesh withdrawing from the competition with a knee injury.
“My joy had no bounds when I came to know that I will be going to the Asian Games as Vinesh di withdrew had a knee injury,” Antim told the reporters on Sunday after returning from the U20 World Championship event where she struck gold once again. The U20 World Championship was held in Amman, Jordan.
With the U20 World Championship behind her back, the young grappler will look to put all her effort into the Asian Games. Her main motive will be to grab this opportunity with both hands and prove to the world that she will be the face of wrestling in India in the coming days.
“My focus has completely shifted to the preparations for the Asian Games and upcoming World Championship trials,” she added further.
Panghal recently created history as she became the first Indian female wrestler to win back-to-back U-20 Championship titles as she defended her crown in the 53kg category with aplomb.
India bagged their first women’s team gold medal at the U20 World Championships. Apart from Panghal, Savita (62kg), Priya Malik (76kg) also won gold medals. Antim Kundu had to settle for silver as she lost the final against Eniko Elekes. The other three bronze medals were won by Reena (57kg), Arju (68kg) and Harshita (72kg) in their respective categories.
Earlier in July, Panghal had won the Asian Games trials with ease but she was kept on standby by as the ad-hoc committee running the Wrestling Federation of India allowed Vinesh direct entry into the Asian Games.
The 19-year-old was not happy with this decision and moved to court with her plea. She ultimately lost the case and was kept on Vinesh’s standby for the event. But ultimately, Panghal’s luck favoured her as a knee injury to Vinesh has allowed the 19-year-old to represent India at the Asian Games.