Antim Panghal reaches gold medal round

Astana, Apr 12 (PTI):
Displaying a brilliant counter-attacking game, young Indian wrestler Antim Panghal breezed into the 53kg title clash, scoring dominant wins over her rivals, whereas Anshu Malik will fight for bronze after struggling to breach the defence of Japan’s Sae Nanjo, here Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Panghal, who last year became the first Indian woman wrestler to become U20 world champion, routed the 53kg field, not conceding a single point on the moves of her rivals.
The only point she lost was through a caution received in her semifinal against Uzbekistan’s Aktenge Keunimjaeva, whom she outclassed 8-1.
Panghal got on board with a take-down move that she initiated with a left-leg attack. The Uzbeki had the Indian in head lock position a couple of times but on both occasions, not only Panghal wriggled out with consummate ease, she also employed counter attacks at a lightening pace to keep extending her lead.
Panghal had begun her campaign with a dominating ‘win by fall’ against Singaporean Hsiao Ping Alvina Lim and followed up with a 6-0 victory in the quarterfinal against China’s Li Deng.
She will now fight for gold against the formidable Japanese Akari Fujinami, the 2021 world champion and someone who has hardly lost a bout since she started competing at the senior level in 2020.
In the 57kg competition, much was expected from talented Anshu Malik but the 2021 world championship silver medallist struggled to score against Nanjo, the reigning U23 world champion.

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