Asian Wrestling Championships 2023 | Antim Panghal settles for silver, loses to Akari Fujinami of Japan
In her maiden international competition this year, young Indian athlete Antim Panghal won a silver medal on Wednesday at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2023 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Panghal, 18, gave up just one point en route to the 53 kg final but lost comprehensively in the gold medal bout.
Fujinami won 10-0 in a one-sided bout on Wednesday. But on her way to the finals, Panghal defeated Singaporean veteran Alvina Lim in the preliminary stages by fall, and in the quarterfinals, she defeated China's Li Deng 6-0.
On the other hand, Anshu Malik (57 kg), Sonam Malik (62 kg), Manisha (65 kg), and Reetika Hooda (72 kg), the last four Indian women wrestlers, all settled for bronze. Anshu, who won the silver medal at the 2021 World Championships, defeated Mongolia's Erdenesuvd Bat Erdene 10-0 in the bronze medal match. After defeating Qi Zhang of China and Danielle Sue Ching Lim of Singapore, she advanced to the semi-finals where she was defeated 5-1 by the previous Asian champion and eventual gold medalist Sae Nanjo of Japan.
The Mongolian Orkhon Purevdorj, the 2017 world champion, defeated Tokyo 2020 Olympian Sonam Malik in the quarterfinals by fall, however Purevdorj advanced to the final, giving Sonam Malik a chance to win bronze by repechage. Sonam Malik defeated Xiaojuan Luo of China, the 2019 Asian champion and No. 2 in the world, 5-1 in the match for the bronze medal.
Manisha participated in the round-robin competition and advanced to the 72 kg semifinals. However, the Indian wrestler was defeated by the Japanese U20 champion Mahiro Yoshitake through fall before defeating Kazakhstan's Albina Kairgeldinova to win bronze. In the meanwhile, Reetika Hooda defeated Nurzat Nurtaeva of Kyrgyzstan 6-3 in the preliminary round but fell to Sumire Niikura of Japan 5-4 in the semi-final.
The biggest triumph of the day for Reetika Hooda came against Svetlana Oknazarova of Uzbekistan. To win the bronze medal, the Indian wrestler upset 2018 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Oknazarova 5-1.
Indian women wrestlers ended the Asian Championships 2023 with seven medals, including two silver and five bronze, after winning five medals on the day.
(With ANI inputs)