Indian rising wrestler Antim Panghal announced her arrival with a silver medal on her Asian Championship debut. She missed the gold medal after going down to Akari Fujinami of Japan in the finals of the 53kg category. Apart from her, three other wrestlers also clinched bronze medals in the Asian Championships.
It was a great tournament for Antim, who breezed past her initial rounds to reach the summit clash against Fujinami. However, the Japanese was just too much for young Antim. The 2021 World Champion, Fujinami has been in exceptional form and has hardly dropped a bout since making her senior-level debut in 2020. Fujinami won the title clash against Antim on technical superiority.
Apart from Antim Panghal, Anshu Malik was one of the wrestlers who bagged one the bronze medals at this event. She was too good for her opponent as she defeated Mongolia’s Erdenesuvd Bat Erdene by technical superiority and secured the bronze medal in the 57kg category.
On the other hand, Sonam also got a second chance after she lost to Mongolian wrestler Orkhon Purevdorj in the quarterfinals. But as Purevdorj reached the finals, Sonam got a second chance and she made the most out of the chance, beating Chinese wrestler Xiaojuan Luo 5-1 to clinch the bronze medal.
Similarly, Reetika also won the bronze medal by the same margin as she defeated Uzbek wrestlers Svetlana Oknazarova. Lastly, Manisha won her respective bronze medal bout by fall against Kazakhstan’s Albina Kairgeldinova.
Looking back at the results, Antim did not drop a single point until she faced the Uzbek wrestler Aktenge Keunimjaeva. She did outclass Keunimjaeva 8-1 ultimately and moved forward. Antim started off with a takedown and later when the Uzbek had her in the headlock position, Antim wriggled her way out on both occasions and then launched her counterattacks which helped her win the bout.
While Antim performed more than what was expected of her, Anshu Malik flattered to deceive in the 57 kg competition. Anshu struggled against Japan’s Sae Nanjo, the reigning World U20 Champion. The Japanese was aggressive from the start and her strong moves handed her points and gave her some advantage. Nanjo later got hold of Anshu’s left leg and turned it powerfully. Anshu grimacing with pain tapped out and the Japanese wrestler emerged victorious by a 5-1 scoreline.
India have in total claimed 11 medals in the Asian Championships as the Greco roman wrestlers also added four of them earlier. Also, Nisha Dahiya (68kg) won a silver and Priya (76kg) clinched bronze on Tuesday.