Belgrade: Indian wrestler Antim Panghal beat Sweden’s two-time European champion Emma Jonna Denise Malmgren to win the bronze medal in the women’s 53kg event at the World Wrestling Championships 2023 here on Thursday.
Courtesy the win, Antim also obtained a Paris 2024 Olympic quota for India, the country’s first in wrestling for the upcoming edition of the Summer Games.
National Olympic Committees hold exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games. Therefore, the participation of athletes in the Games depends on their NOC selecting them to represent their delegation in Paris 2024.
Antim, a two-time U20 world champion, dominated Jonna Malmgren and won the bronze medal match 16-6 by technical superiority, Olympics.com reported.
Earlier, Antim had upset 2022 world champion Dominique Olivia Parrish of the USA 3-2 in the opening round.
The Indian grappler then sealed a victory by technical superiority over Poland’s Roksana Marta Zasina in the round of 16 before winning 9-6 against Russia’s Natalia Malysheva in the quarter-finals.
However, Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus got the better of Antim by a 5-4 margin in the women’s 53kg freestyle semifinals at the World Wrestling Championships 2023.
Meanwhile, 2019 Asian Championships silver medallist Gurpreet Singh (77kg) and Ajay (55kg) lost their round of 32 bouts as Greco-Roman wrestling kicked off at Belgrade on Thursday.
Sajan (82kg), the first Indian Greco-Roman medallist at the U23 World Championships, and Mehar Singh (130kg) bowed out in the qualification round.
Earlier in the week, the 10 Indian men’s freestyle wrestlers in action at Belgrade failed to win a medal. None could secure an Olympic quota either.
India’s men’s 70kg freestyle wrestler Abhimanyu missed out on a medal after losing the bronze medal match to Arman Andreasyan of Armenia. It was a non-Olympic quota event.
Manisha (62kg), Priyanka (68kg) and Jyoti Berwal (72kg), meanwhile, failed to make the medal bouts in their respective women’s freestyle categories.
The Indian grapplers are competing in the tournament under the United World Wrestling (UWW) flag as the country’s wrestling federation – the Wrestling Federation Of India (WFI) – is suspended.