Belgrade: Antim Panghal shocked reigning world champion Olivia Dominique Parrish to raise hopes of locking a quota for the Paris Olympics even as other Indian contenders bit the dust in their respective bouts at the wrestling World Championships, here Wednesday.
Panghal slipped to a 0-2 deficit at the start of the bout against the American but edged her rival 3-2 in the women’s 53kg opening round. She later outplayed Poland’s Roksana Marta Zasina by technical superiority to move into the quarterfinals.
The American swung into action with a quick take-down move from a right-leg attack. Unperturbed, the 19-year-old Indian began to defend well and foiled two similar attempts, not conceding any more points till the end of first period.
With her strong defense continuing, Panghal did not let Parrish make any attacking move with the result the American was put on clock.
Panghal got hold of the American’s left leg and converted that into a successful take-down move to draw parity. She tried to get a leg lace but could not pull off the move.
The American lost a point on passivity. Standing wrestling followed and Panghal defended her slender lead to walk out a winner.
She needed only one minute and 38 seconds to outplay Roksana Marta Zasina in her next bout, beating the Poland wrestler by technical superiority to move into the quarterfinals.
However, Manisha (62kg), Priyanka (68kg) and Jyoti Brewal (72kg) have lost their bouts and their fate is now dependent on the results of their vanquishers.
All 10 men’s free-style wrestlers have already exited the tournament without winning either an Olympic quota or a medal in non-Olympic categories.