Venuzo wins Naga wrestling title

Venuzo wins Naga wrestling title
Venuzo Dawhuo, other winners and officials in Kohima on Friday. (NP)
Correspondent Kohima, APR 9 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/9/2021 1:42:15 PM IST

Venuzo Dawhuo, from Thenyizumi village, emerged as the ultimate winner of 13th Open Naga Wrestling Championship held at Khuochiezie (Local Ground), here, Friday.

Dawhuo, who is also the reigning champion of Naga Wrestling Association meet, dominated Dzieselatuo Keretsü from Kohima village in two consecutive bouts and secured himself the ultimate championship title in the final match. 

Dawhuo had earlier emerged as the winner even in the above 80 kg category, walked away with a total cash prize of Rs 2.20 lakhs while first runner-up in both ultimate championship and above 80 kg, Dzieselatuo Keretsü, pocketed a total cash prize of Rs 1.70 lakhs.

Menuosetuo Yiese from Kohima village took the third position while Kevizhakho Suokhrie from Jotsoma village took the fourth position in the ultimate championship title. They bagged cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh and Rs. 70,000 respectively.

Defending champion Menuosetuo Yiese lost to Dawhuo in both the semi final  matches for the ultimate championship and above 80 kg category.

Dawhuo had lost to Yiese earlier this year during the King of the Ring 2021 organised by 3E Nagaland. However, he managed to dethrone the defending champion thus making a huge comeback during this championship.

Two new contenders from non wrestling communities who took part in the championship gave surprising performance earning huge cheers from the spectators. 

Yimküm Sashi from Ao community lost in the first round, while Thechamo N Murry managed to win a single bout. 

A total of 86 wrestlers participated in the championship.

In the below 80 kg category, Kevizhakho Suokhrie(Jotsoma) downed Medozho Kapü (Thenyizu) in the final bout and took the title while Ruokuovituo Lese (Mima) and Kekhriekuolie Khawakhrie (Mezoma) stood in third and fourth positions respectively. 

Cash prizes for both categories are Rs 50,000, Rs. 30,000, 20,000, and 15,000 for first, second, third and fourth positions respectively.

It may be mentioned that NWA introduced the new category systems for above-80 kg and below-80kg for the first time.  Quarter finalists in both the categories automatically qualified and went on to compete in the ultimate championship round.

Earlier during the inaugural function, advisor of Youth Resources and Sports, Er. Zale Neikha said Naga Wrestling was one of the oldest traditional games practiced since times immemorial.  Apart from it being played as a game, wrestling was also used as a means in settling differences between two parties, he added. 

Today it has gained a passionate following and has become one of Nagas most loved sports, he remarked.

Neikha however lamented that only three tribes including Angami, Chakhesang and Zeliang were affiliated to NWA. He pointed out that unless an effort was made to introduce wrestling to other tribes the concept of making wrestling a common Naga traditional game would only be a far cry. He strongly appealed to the NWA to visualise the prospect of bringing other tribes into the fray of the game. 

Neikha opined that conducting wrestling coaching camps in other districts of the state would have an impact to gather support from other tribes would help in making the game a common Naga traditional game into a reality.

Neikha also assured that PDA government and department of Youth Resources Sports would assist the association if it wishes to undertake coaching camps in every district for promotion of the game. 

Minister of Planning and Co-ordination, Land Revenue, and Parliamentary Affairs, Neiba Kronu in his address said the PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the president of Nagaland Olympic Association, was trying to encourage youngsters in the area of sports. 

He informed that the state government had decided to create a ‘sports office complex’ in Kohima for better coordination with the sports fraternity and help assist the community to compete with national and international level athletes in every discipline. While appreciating the two non wrestling communities for taking part in the championship, Kronu expressed hoped that more participants would come forward from other tribes as well in the future. 

The event was hosted by Chakhesang Wrestling Association while ground management was done by Chakhesang Christian Revival Churches Youth Association.

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