Antim Panghal, a wrestler from Haryana who is 17 years old, became the first Indian woman to hold this title as she defeated Kazakhstan’s Altyn Shagayeva 8-0 to claim the Under-20 world title. World U-20 Wrestling Championship events took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Due to her superior technical skills, Turkish fighter Antim Panghal won the opening round by defeating German Amery Olivia by a score of 11-0.
- Antim Panghal becomes the first U-20 women’s wrestling champion by winning the gold.
- Antim Panghal is from the Haryana village of Bhagana, which is part of the Hisar district.
- 2022 Asian Junior Championships gold medalist Antim Panghal also took home bronze at the Cadet World Championships (2021).
- She also won silver at the U23 Asian Championships this year.
- Antim had a 3-1 advantage over Vinesh Phogat in the final 10 seconds of their match at the June Commonwealth Games selection trials. Later, Phogat rallied to claim victory.
The pinnacle of Antim’s ascent to the title was the fall victory over Japanese opponent Ayaka Kimura in the quarterfinal.
1/8 Final: Amory Olivia ANDRICH of Germany defeated Antim Panghal of India, 0-11. (By Tech Superiority)
Ayaka KIMURA of Japan lost to Antim Panghal of India in the quarterfinal match (By Fall)
1/2 Final: IND – Antim Panghal 2-11 UKR – Nataliia KLIVCHUTSKA
FINAL: India defeats Kazakhstan 8-0 (Altyn SHAGAYEVA).
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Journey to the Gold Medal from Haryana
Over time, the sport of wrestling has changed. And so is the price one must pay in order to advance to the elite level. Antim was very fortunate to have a parent who shared her enthusiasm and dedication. When Antim decided to start wrestling, there was no turning back for the Panghal pariwar. Taunts and problems were accordingly avoided and faced.
Her victory in the U20 World Wrestling Championship is merely another accomplishment. She has continuously fared well since she was in the younger age group. She won the U-15 national 49kg championship in Patna in 2018 before winning the bronze medal at the U15 Asian Wrestling Championship in Japan the following year.
Over the course of the following three years, the Haryana wrestler would go on to win the Cadet U17 National Title at the Sub-Junior Nationals in Cuttack in 2019, in addition to winning a gold medal at the 2020 Cadet U17 National Championship in Patna. This year, she defeated considerably older competition to win two medals: gold at the Junior Asian Championships and a silver at the U23 Asian Championships.
Antim came very, very close to pulling off an upset earlier this year. Prior to ultimately losing 3-3 in the Commonwealth Games selection trials, she had a 3-0 lead over world bronze medalist Vinesh Phogat with 15 seconds left.
Antim Panghal, the current World under-20 champion, dislikes wasting time on the mat. Instead, she uses the thorough research she did on each opponent the night before the fights to completely dominate them. And it was business as usual for the 18-year-old from Hisar, who won the women’s 53kg wrestling category at the 36th National Games on Sunday by falling over Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanshi Prajapati.
“Before any major tournament, she would continue pursuing as soon as our training sessions ended in order to look for footage of her competitors. It can be challenging to gather films at times, especially during domestic events because most coaches don’t like to provide input, which is totally natural “Vikash Bharadwaj, her coach, remarked as he greeted Antim when she emerged from the mat.
“Before the final match against Priyanshi of Madhya Pradesh, I advised her to aim for a win by fall. There is always an advantage because she is already in the 53 kg bracket while Priyanshi is in the 50 kg category “Vikash said.
Antim is gasping for air after her bout when a man from Haryana walks by. He gives the child an Rs. 500 note and says, “Beti maine tera U-20 World Championship wala bout Dekha tha, tujhe Milne ke liye bahut try kya, Aaj mili toh yeh le, khoob tarakki kar..” (I have been pursuing you ever since I watched your Under-20 World Championship performance, please accept this, and keep flying high).
Vikash asks Antim, who is an obedient student, to embrace it as a blessing, and the adolescent sensation complied. When Antim was 12 years old, one of her four older sisters, a kabaddi player, discovered a wrestling school in the far-flung Baghana hamlet of Hisar. She then enrolled in the Babba Lal Das Wrestling Academy. She spoke to her farmer’s father about it before contacting the coach. She entered our program at the age of 12, and we determined that wrestling was the best sport for her. Her physique and personality were ideal for a wrestler, but her enthusiasm for the sport was what really set her apart from the competition.
While others would continuously ask for their weight training to be reduced, she would continue working out for hours without a single complaint. We would try to get Antim to relax by asking her what was coming next all the time, he recalled. Young Antim was devastated after losing in the 53 kg weight category Commonwealth Games qualifying match to eventual gold medalist Vinesh Phogat. The little athlete hates to lose, and on Sunday, she showed off all of her skills as she jumped out to a large 5-0 lead before winning the gold by fall in her first Games.
“Isko Medal of Honor Ki Bhookh Hai (She simply desires medals.) She viewed it as a challenge to win big in her following match after falling to Vinesh in the preliminary round. We improved on a few technical mistakes that she made in the match against Vinesh, and the National Games will be good exposure for her “said he. The bronze medals for the category were won by Swati Sanjay from Maharashtra and Khalifa Hina from Gujarat. In the men’s freestyle 74kg event, where Delhi’s Yash won the gold after defeating Haryana’s Sagar Jaglan in the final, veteran Maharashtra grappler Narsingh Pancham Yadav was forced to settle for the bronze.
Jointy Kumar of Uttar Pradesh won the men’s 86kg competition after defeating Maharashtra’s Vital Audamb, the second-seeded competitor. Mansi, a grappler from Haryana, defeated Chandigarh’s Neetu by falling in the women’s 57kg division to earn the gold medal. After winning their individual matches, Preety Kumar of Rajasthan and Sonali Mandlik of Maharashtra received the bronze medals. In Greco-Roman, Services wrestler Gyanender won the gold medal while Haryana’s Vikas won the silver in the 60 kg division. In the 130 kg division, Satish from Haryana won the gold after Services wrestler Naveen missed the final due to injury. In this division, Gursewak Singh from Punjab and Yatendra from Uttar Pradesh won bronze medals.