A prodigious talent, India’s Antim Panghal has been honored with the prestigious title of 'Women's Rising Star of the Year' at the UWW Awards 2023.
Antim Panghal, renowned for her exceptional prowess and commendable sportsmanship on the mat, has created history by winning India’s first-ever gold medal at the World U20 Wrestling Championships in August 2022. She retained the medal this year too. Her meteoric rise becomes particularly impressive considering her wrestles in the 53kg women’s freestyle category - the same division as Olympian Vinesh Phogat.
Antim Panghal is also an Asian Games, Asian Championships and senior world wrestling championships medal winner. The young prodigy has taken the world of wrestling by storm in the past couple of years.
Antim Panghal upset defending champion Parrish in the opening round but fell to Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the semifinals. She secured her bronze with a commanding win over Sweden’s Jonna Malmgren, a two-time European champion. Courtesy of the win, Antim also secured a 2024 Paris Olympic quota place for India.
In 2020, Antim, then just 17, won the gold medal at the junior Asian Championships and doubled up with a silver at the U-23 Asian Championships, defeating opponents much older than her.
In April 2023, Antim won a silver medal at the Asian Championships in Astana. It took Japan’s Akari Fujinami, a true modern-day wrestling phenom who is yet to lose a senior bout in her career, to end Antim’s run in the final at Astana.
With unconditional support from her family, it didn’t take long for Antim Panghal to shine on the mat. Interestingly, Antim, which translates to ‘last’ or ‘final’ in English, is the final girl child of the Panghal family. Sarita, Meenu and Nisha are Antim’s elder sisters, while brother Arpit, born two years after Antim, is the youngest.