Guwahati: India’s junior wrestler Antim Panghal created history on Friday by becoming the U20 World Champion in Sofia, Bulgaria. Panghal became the first-ever Indian woman wrestler to win gold at the U20 World Wrestling Championships. In the final, Antim defeated Atlyn Shagayeva of Kazakhstan in the 53kg category to win the gold medal.
The others Indian wrestler who previously became U20 World Champions were current CWG gold medalists Deepak Punia, Ramesh Kumar, Palwinder Singh Cheema and Pappu Yadav.
U20 World Championships: Antim Panghal wins historic gold
Antim Panghal started her tournament against German Amery Olivia beating her 11-0 and winning the game with technical superiority. The Indian wrestler defeated Ayaka Kimura of Japan by fall in her second match. In the semi-final match, Panghal faced Nataliia Klivchutska of Ukraine and went on to win the contest in a dominating fashion with a scoreline of 11- 2. In the final against Altyn Shagayeva of Kazakistan, Antim began the bout with a double leg attack and then went for an outside head for another takedown. At the break, the Indian wrestler had a 6-0 lead. After the break, Antim was happy to play out the three minutes and only scored one takedown to win the bout by 8-0 margin.
The other Indian wrestlers who competed in the final on Friday failed to win the gold medal. Two-time U17 world champion Sonam Malik had to settle for silver after losing to Nonoka Ozaki in the final of the 62kg category. In another India-Japan final in the 65kg category, India’s Priyanka lost to Japan’s Mahiro Yoshitake 0-8.
Antim Panghal, in the past, won bronze at the Cadet World Championships (2021) and gold at the Asian Junior Championships (2022). She also won silver at the U23 Asian Championships this year. During the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games in June, Antim faced Vinesh Phogat and was leading 3-1 till the final 10 seconds when Phogat turned around things to win the match.