NEW DELHI: Talented youngster Antim Panghal made a statement by winning the 53kg trials just moments after her plea challenging Vinesh Phogat‘s exemption was dismissed, while Mansi Ahlawat outperformed expectations by securing her place in the Indian team for the Asian Games from a 57kg field that included two World Championship medallists on Saturday.

Panghal, 19, put up a strong performance in the 53kg weight class, winning all of her matches with ease.
After receiving a bye in the first round, the 2022 Under-20 World Champion began with a 7-2 win against Tamanna and then advanced to the semifinals with a technical superiority win over Neha.

The final was even better, as she pinned her opponent Manju in less than two minutes.

Vinesh Phogat, however, will represent India in this category at the Hangzhou Asian Games, as the selection committee has already given her a straight entry in the 53kg category, along with men’s freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia (65kg).
“I won the trial fair and square. Why should I be the standby player? I won the trial. The one who did not compete should be a standby player in 53kg. My petition has been dismissed but I won’t stop, I will keep fighting, we will move the

Supreme Court,” Panghal told reporters.
“If she keeps getting direct entries like this, how will one know how good we are? We will keep trying. My coach will decide what we are going to do next but the fight will continue. What’s the point of me winning three bouts?
“I know she is pretty good and has many medals but she must fight against us in the trials,” she said, adding that she will now gear up for the World Championship trials.
The 57kg division proved to be extremely competitive, as it featured World Championship silver medalist Anshu Malik and Worlds bronze medalist Sarita Mor. The two champions were drawn to compete in the first round, which was viewed as a final before the final.
Sarita Mor jumped off to a 5-0 lead over Anshu, who is returning from injury. However, Anshu, 20, came back with a take-down and a gut wrench manoeuvre. This reduced the margin to 4-5, but Sarita used her great force to win.
Mansi Ahlawat, the U23 World Championship bronze medalist, stunned Sarita later in the match by employing the ‘fitley’ move after Sarita made a technical error.
Sito, another kid from the opposite side of the draw, advanced to the final, defeating Pinky and Neetu.
Mansi, who practises with Mandeep at Chhotu Ram Akhada, continued her strong performance by easily defeating Sito in the final.
Sonam Malik won the 62kg trials after an amazing comeback from a left elbow injury. Manisha was excellent in the same draw, but the Gohana wrestler, who works with Ajmer Malik, triumphed.
Sonam and Manisha’s final was predicted to be a nail-biter, but the Gohana girl pinned the Rohtak girl after a swift and scary four-pointer.
Pooja Gehlot, a CWG bronze medalist, was another wrestler who secured her berth in the Asian Games from Chottu Ram Akhada. She easily defeated Shivani and Neelam before pinning veteran Nirmala Devi in the 50kg final.
Nisha Dahiya was the favourite in 68kg, but Radhika stole the show. She not only defeated Nisha, but also qualified for the Asian Games by defeating Priyanka 9-8 in a close final.
Divya Kakran, who normally competes in the 68kg weight class, went up to the 76kg weight class but did not qualify for the Asian Games, losing in the final against veteran Kiran.
Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), Vikash (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Narinder Cheema (97kg), and Naveen (130kg) won their respective trials to join the Asian Games squad in the Greco Roman style.
The men’s freestyle trials will take place on Sunday.
(With inputs from PTI)

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