Panghal, the 53kg grappler, lost the semi-final bout to World No. 23 Vanesa Kaladzinskaya—a Belarusian competing as a neutral athlete—on technical points 5-4
Antim Panghal. Pic/Sai Media
Antim Panghal shocked reigning champion Olivia Dominique Parrish en route to the World Championship semi-finals, but the young grappler’s giant-killing run was halted in the last-four stage, leaving her fighting for a bronze medal and a Paris Olympic quota place here on Wednesday.
Panghal, the 53kg grappler, lost the semi-final bout to World No. 23 Vanesa Kaladzinskaya—a Belarusian competing as a neutral athlete—on technical points 5-4. But the Indian can still earn an Olympic quota if she wins the bronze-medal match or emerges triumphant in the bout between the losers of the bronze-medal contest.
Underlining her growth and a smooth transition from the junior to senior circuit, the two-time U-20 champion won the first three bouts of the day to enter the semi-final even as other Indian contenders bit the dust in their respective categories. Panghal slipped to a 0-2 deficit at the start of the bout against USA’s Parrish but edged her rival 3-2 in the opening round.
She later outplayed Poland’s Roksana Marta Zasina by technical superiority and followed it up with a 9-6 win over Russian Natalia Malysheva, who is competing as a neutral athlete. Earlier, Parrish swung into action with a quick take-down move from a right-leg attack.
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