Indian women’s wrestler Antim Panghal was nominated for United World Wrestling Rising Star of the Year 2022 prize.
Antim Panghal made history this year by winning India’s first ever gold medal at the 2022 U20 Wrestling World Championships in August. The 18-year-old freestyle wrestler from Haryana is also the current Asian champion in the same age category.
Prior to Antim, six Indian wrestlers had reached the finals of the world junior competition in the previous 44 editions, but none managed to win the gold medal.
On his way to the top podium, Antim Panghal overtook U20 Asian medalist Altyn Shagayeva of Kazakhstan in the 53 kg final, beat European junior champion Amory Olivia Andrich of Germany 11-0, pinned Japan’s Ayaka Kimura, and matched Natalia Klivchutska of Ukraine, a bronze medalist at the championship Europe up to the 20s.
This year Antim Panghal participated in four international tournaments in different age groups. It was an almost perfect season with 16 wins and only one loss, which came at the 2022 Asian U-23 Championships where she opted for silver after losing to 2018 World Youth Championships silver medalist Aktenge Keunimjaeva of Uzbekistan.
She won gold medals at the U20 World Championships, the U20 Asian Championships and the Zouhaier Sghaier Ranking Series, a senior category event.
In addition to Antim Panghala, Japanese Nonoka OzakiUnited States Amit ElorSwedish Emma Malmgren and Andrew Ana from Romania are on the list of five women nominated for the United World Wrestling 2022 Rising Star of the Year award.
19-year-old Nonoka Ozaki won gold medals this year at the senior world championships and the Asian championships in the category up to 62 kg.
Amit Elor, meanwhile, is the reigning U23 World Champion and Senior World Champion in the 72 kg category. The 18-year-old is currently ranked second in the world in the senior category.
Emma Malmgren, 21, ranks fourth in the world in the under 53 kg category and is the European champion in seniors. Meanwhile, Andreea Ana is the European Senior Champion in the category up to 55 kg.