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HomeSportsAntim Panghal withdraws from Asian wrestling championships in Bishkek

Antim Panghal withdraws from Asian wrestling championships in Bishkek


World wrestling championships bronze medallist Antim Panghal has withdrawn from the Asian Championships in Bishkek starting on April 11. Anju, the U23 world championships medallist from 2021 who won the selection trials in 53kg division in Patiala, will replace Antim.

Two-time junior world champion Antim has not competed since October.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

Antim won the Paris Olympics quota for India in 53kg when she won bronze at the world championships in September. “She is focussing on her preparations for the Paris Olympics. We are also looking to go abroad for a training stint but nothing is decided as of now,” said Antim’s coach Vikas Bharadwaj.

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Two-time junior world champion Antim has not competed since October. She had a stellar last year winning bronze in her maiden world championships, which also ensured her a quota place, besides defending her U20 World title and winning bronze at the Asian Games in October. She had to appear for back-to-back trials and competition.

Antim skipped the national championships in February and was given a direct berth for the Asian Championships, being the only Indian wrestler to win an Olympic quota so far. At the selection trials in Patiala, two-time world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat, whose preferred weight category is 53kg, lost in the semi-finals in the trials. Finishing among the top four gives her an opportunity to appear for a final selection trial in May to challenge Antim.

This was as per the selection policy of the ad-hoc committee which is no longer in place. The Wrestling Federation of India, which is now back to governing the sport, has maintained that it will decide on Paris selection depending on the performances of wrestlers, and whether a trial is needed. Vinesh also competed in the 50kg Olympic weight division, where she won the trials. The seasoned wrestler will compete in the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek from April 19, aiming to win a berth for India in 50kg.

The national camp for the wrestlers got over last week. WFI has requested Sports Authority of India and the union sports ministry to organise a camp before the two major events. However, there is not much time to hold another camp with the team for Asian Championships planning to leave on April 9. WFI has recalled the national coaches Virender Dahiya (women), Jagminder Singh (freestyle) and Hargobind Singh (Greco Roman) into the set-up. They will travel with the team for the two tournaments.



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