Grapplers Antim Panghal, Anshu Malik win silver medals in Budapest wrestling ranking series

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BUDAPEST: Indian wrestlers Antim Panghal and Anshu Malik claimed silver medals in their respective matches at the Polyak Imre and Varga Janos Memorial 2024 wrestling tournament in Budapest, while ace grappler Vinesh Phogat drew a blank.

Panghal suffered a defeat to Jonna Malmgren of Sweden 4-0 in the women’s 53kg category final. The 19-year-old India sealed her place in the summit clash after knocking out 2021 World Championships bronze medallist Katarzyna Krawczyk 3-1.

Anshu Malik, who had secured a Paris 2024 Olympics quota for India, settled for a silver medal after losing 1-12 to Kexin Hong. Anshu stunned reigning world champion Qi Zhang of China 2-1 in the semis to reach the final. She also knocked out former world champion Anastasia Nichita of Moldova 6-5 in the tense quarter-clash.

However, the two-time world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat suffered a defeat to Jiang Zhu of China 5-0 in the quarter-finals of the women’s 50kg weight category and could not make it to the repechage rounds.

So far, India have secured three silver medals at the Budapest ranking series, including Aman Sehrawat, who won a medal in the men’s 57kg freestyle on Thursday.

The 2023 Asian champion, lost the men’s 57kg final at the Budapest wrestling ranking series against former world champion and Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist Rei Higuchi of Japan by 1-11.

The ongoing tournament is the final wrestling ranking series before the Paris 2024 Olympics. Grapplers will earn points at the meet, which will determine their rankings. The rankings will eventually decide the seeding of the wrestlers who have secured an Olympic quota for the upcoming Summer Games.

As of now, India have secured a total of six quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympics – five in women’s wrestling and one in the men’s freestyle. (ANI)

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