Shooter Rhythm Sangwan and wrestler Antim Panghal won the Sportstar Aces award for Best Young Achiever (Girl) at Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Monday.
“Thanks for your love and support. Please keep supporting me in the same manner and I’ll keep making you all proud,” said an elated Antim. Meanwhile, Rhythm thanked her parents and coach for sticking with her through the ups and downs. She also thanked The Hindu group and Sportstar for bestowing her with the honour.
Rhythm had an imperious 2022. With some dominant performances across domestic and international competitions, Rhythm is a key part of India’s shooting setup in the run-up to Paris 2024.
In the World Championships in Cairo in October, Rhythm won three silvers in the 25m standard pistol, 25m pistol team event and the air pistol team events.
Earlier in the year, in the ISSF World Cup held in the Egyptian capital, Rhythm won gold medals in the 25m team event and the 25m rapid-fire pistol mixed team event.
Her medal haul continued in the Changwon World Cup, where she won silver in the air pistol team event and bronze in the 25m rapid-fire pistol mixed team. Rhythm also managed two golds in the 10m air pistol and 10m air pistol mixed team events and a silver in the air pistol team event at the Asian Airgun Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Rhythm also participated in the National Games where she won silver in the 10m air pistol final.
Antim Panghal made history in August 2022 by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Junior World Championships.
The 17-year-old from Hisar, Haryana, has been a consistent performer at the age-group levels. Prior to her gold medal at the Junior Worlds, Antim had claimed another gold at the Junior Asian Championships before winning silver at the U-23 Asian Championships.
She has already started making a mark at the senior level. At the Tunisia Ranking Series in June, she stunned a quality field en route to her first senior gold medal. She beat Tokyo Olympic quarterfinalist Luisa Valverde; the 2022 Pan American champion and future world champion Dominique Parrish; and the 2022 Pan American champion in the 55kg category, Karla Godinez, in the final.
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, chess great Viswanathan Anand, former India football skipper Bhaichung Bhutia, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and Olympians Anjali Bhagwat and Aparna Popat are the members of the Sportstar Aces 2023 jury.
The event is supported by IDFC First Bank, Indian Oil, India Cements, United India, Ramaiah University, Experimenta Science Center GD Naidu Charity, Finolex Pipes, LIC, BPCL, Samsonite, Big Basket, Nippon Paint, CRICHQ, Wordswork, NewsX and Casagrand.