Antim Panghal upset reigning champion Olivia Dominique Parrish en route to the World Wrestling Championship semi-finals, raising hopes of locking a quota for the Paris Olympics. The other Indian contenders, however, bit the dust in their respective categories, here Wednesday.
The two-time U-20 champion Panghal slipped to a 0-2 deficit at the start of the qualifying 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 and followed that up with a 9-6 win over Russian Natalia Malysheva, who is competing as a neutral athlete.
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 defence, 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 to move into the quarter finals.
In the quarter final, she led 6-0 but the Russian effected a comeback to make it 6-6. On counter-attack Panghal took the lead again.
She extended the lead with a left-leg attack which she converted into a take-down. About 30 seconds were still left in the bout but Panghal denied her rival.
However, Manisha (62kg), Priyanka (68kg) and Jyoti Berwal (72kg) have bowed out.