Antim Panghal wins Asian Games trials, to move SC after Delhi HC dismisses plea against Vinesh’s trial exemption

By India Today Sports Desk: Former U20 world champion Antim Panghal on Saturday said she will move the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court’s dismissal of her plea against the exemption of Asian Games trials for Vinesh Phogat. The 19-year-old won the 53kg trials held in New Delhi for the Asian Games berth and made a statement with a dominant performance in New Delhi.

Antim Panghal said she would not be backup player for the women’s 53kg freestyle category, saying that she would keep fighting to have an opportunity to represent India at the Asian Games.

Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Bajrang Punia (65kg), who were part of the much-publicised protest against the Wrestling Federation of India, were given direct entry for the Asian Games by the Indian Olympic Association’s ad-hoc committee on Tuesday,

Vinesh is set to represent India in the women’s 53kg category while Antim Panghal is all set to be the standby in the weight category.

Other wrestlers have to take part in the trials, which are scheduled for July 22 and 23. The trials for the women’s freestyle and greco-roman categories were held on Saturday, July 22. The trials for men’s freestyle will take place on Sunday.

Justice Subramonium Prasad, on Saturday, dismissed the petition by Under-20 World Champion Antim Panghal and Under-23 Asian Champion Sujeet Kalkal against the direct entry.


“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 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 said, as quoted by PTI after winning the women’s 53kg trials.

“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,” she added.

Antim Panghal won all her bouts in the 53kg trials without breaking a sweat. Handed a bye in the first round, the 2022 Under-20 World Champion began with a 7-2 win over Tamanna and followed that up with a technical superiority win against Neha to move into the semifinals.

The final was even better as she pinned her rival Manju within two minutes.

Freestyle women’s trial winners

Pooja Gehlot – 50kg

Vinesh Phogat (trial won by Antim Panghal) – 53kg

Mansi Ahlawat – 57kg

Sonam Malik – 62kg

Radhika – 68kg

Kiran – 76kg

In the Greco Roman style, Gyanender (60kg), Neeraj (67kg), Vikash (77kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg), Narinder Cheema (97kg) and Naveen (130kg) won their respective trials to make it to the Asian Games squad. (With PTI Inputs)

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