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Antim Panghal Falls Short in World Wrestling Championships Semifinals

In order to get to the World Championship semifinals, Antim Panghal stunned the reigning champion Olivia Dominique Parrish. However, the teenage grappler’s giant-slaying streak came to an end in the last-four stage, leaving her competing for a bronze medal and a spot on the Paris Olympic team on Wednesday.

Panghal, a 53 kg wrestler, lost the semifinal match to world No. 23 Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, a Belarusian competing as a neutral athlete, on technical points 5-4.

However, the Indian can still qualify for an Olympic quota if she wins the bronze-medal match or the match between the bronze-medal losers.

The two-time U20 champion won the first three fights of the day to advance to the semifinal, demonstrating her development and a smooth transition from the junior to senior circuit even as other Indian competitors lost in their respective divisions.

Panghal, a two-time U20 winner, trailed USA’s Parrish 0-2 at the outset of their match, but she eventually prevailed 3-2.

Later, she outperformed Roksana Marta Zasina of Poland due to her greater technical ability. She then defeated Russian Natalia Malysheva, who is playing as a neutral athlete, 9-6.

Prior to that, American Parrish quickly took the opponent down after being attacked with his right leg. Unfazed, the 19-year-old Indian started to play solid defense and thwarted two tries that were identical, not giving up any more points till the first period’s end.

Panghal continued to play a great defense, preventing Parrish from making any attacking moves, which put the American on the clock.
Panghal successfully used a takedown to draw parity after grabbing the American’s left leg. She attempted to grab a leg lace but was unsuccessful.

Passivity cost the American one point. Following standing wrestling, Panghal successfully held onto her slim advantage to emerge victorious.

In her subsequent match, she outperformed Poland’s Zasina in just one minute and 38 seconds, defeating the wrestler by technical superiority to advance to the quarterfinals.

Panghal executed a leg-lace maneuver perfectly to end the fight quickly after two takedowns.

She had a 6-0 lead but Natalia from Russia fought back to tie the score at 6-6 with a takedown and a string of gut-wrenching points.

Panghal regained control throughout the counterattack. The Indian increased her lead by attacking with her left leg, which she used to take her down. About 30 seconds remained in the fight after that, but Paghal refused her opponent.

But Manisha (62 kg), Priyanka (68 kg), and Jyoti Berwal (72 kg) all suffered defeats and were eliminated from the competition.

All ten wrestlers competing in the men’s free-style division have already left the competition without earning an Olympic quota or a medal in a non-Olympic division.

Due to the suspension of the wrestling federation, all Indian athletes are competing under the UWW banner.

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