Antim Panghal defends U20 world title

Antim Panghal is a two-time U20 world champion - File Photo @OlyAntim/Twitter

Antim Panghal became the first Indian woman wrestler to win back-to-back U20 world titles as she defended her 53kg crown at the world championships currently being held in Amman, Jordan.

Antim dominated her Ukrainian rival Mariia Yefremova in a 4-0 win in the final. In fact, she was dominant throughout the tournament, conceding only two points on her way to retaining her gold medal.

She did not give an inch to Yefremova, foiling her leg attacks with a remarkable sense of awareness on the mat. Antim was quick with her movements and her double-leg attacks had the Ukrainian in trouble. Antim sealed the bout with a right-leg attack which she converted into a take-down to take two more points.

Last year, Antim became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a junior world championship title and has already transitioned to the senior circuit. In fact, she will now represent India at the Asian Games after Vinesh Phogat's knee surgery today, which will keep the veteran out of action for a few months. She will also begin as favourite in India's trials for selecting the World Championship squad, which will be held next week.

Elsewhere at the U20 wrestling world championships, Reena won the 57kg bronze with a 9-4 win over Kazakshtan's Shugyla Omirbek. She was leading 5-0 and survived last-minute drama to seal her place on the podium. Earlier in the day, she won two repechage rounds to get to the medal round.

Indian representation at the U20 worlds hasn't finished yet, with Savita (62kg) and Antim Kundu (65kg) also being in contention for gold medals.