Fiery Antim Panghal one win away from 2nd World Championship title, 2 more Indians in title contention

Amman (Jordan), Aug 17 (PTI) Unprecedented success followed India at the junior wrestling World Championships on Thursday with three grapplers, including fast-rising Antim Panghal, storming into the gold medal bouts while Harshita will fight for bronze.

Defending champion Panghal, who hit the headlines for challenging Vinesh Phogat for the Asian Games trials but lost her petition, put up a dominating show to win her three bouts with consummate ease.

For the first time, four Indian woman wrestlers have reached the gold medal bouts at the World Championships as Savita (62kg) and Antim Kundu (65kg) also stayed unbeaten on Thursday.

Priya had reached the 76kg final on Wednesday and will fight for gold later in the evening while Harshita will fight for bronze in 72kg after losing her semifinal.

Panghal lost just two points en route the final, annihilating her first round opponent from Poland Nikola Monika Wisniewska in mere 68 seconds and followed that up with technical superiority win over China’s Xuejing Liang.

In the semifinals, the wrestler from Hisar district of Haryana outplayed Russia’s Polina Lukina, again winning by technical superiority, not losing a single point.

If Panghal can win on Friday, she will become first woman wrestler to win two world titles.

Another Antim was putting the mat on fire in 65kg competition. She was Antim Kundu from Titoli village in Rohtak District as she too put up a dominating show to secure a place in the gold medal bout.

Using her tremendous power, she overpowered Russia’s Ekaterina Koshkina in the semifinal, winning 7-5.

Before that, the wrestler coached by Kuldeep Kadian, beat Romania’s Maria Magdalena Pantiru 7-2 and pinned Poland’s Alicja Nowosad.

In the 62kg category, U17 World Champion Savita produced inspiring stuff, winning all three bouts ‘by fall’, including one against formidable Japanese Suzu Sasaki. She had began with easy win over Serbia’s Dunja Lukic.

In the semifinal she pinned French rival Iris Mathilde Thiebaux.

Harshita also reached the 72kg semifinals but got pinned by Turkey’s Bukrenaz Sert and will now fight for bronze.

Reena was the only Indian wrestler in action who lost early. Competing in 57kg category, she lost her opening round to Ukraine’s Alina Filipovych.

Reena will get a chance to reach medal round through the repechage route as Alina has reached the final.

Source: PTI News


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