Kohima: The Nagaland Wrestling Association (NWA) on Saturday announced that for the first time, wrestlers will grapple in two categories for the upcoming 13th Open Naga Wrestling Championship scheduled on April 9. This is besides the ultimate championship title.

The championship will take place at the Kohima Local Ground. It will see wrestlers grappling for the top position in the categories above 80 kg and 80 kg & below. Sixteen wrestlers who qualify in the quarter-final of both categories will then grapple for the ultimate championship.

Addressing a press conference, the NWA President Dr Hiabe Zeliang, said the total prize pool for the championship is Rs 6.90 lakh—Rs 2.30 lakh for the two categories, and Rs 4.60 lakh for the ultimate championship.

Winners for both categories will walk away with a cash prize of Rs 50,000; Rs 30,000; Rs 20,000; and Rs 15,000 for the first, second, third and fourth positions respectively.

The top four will receive Rs 1.70 lakh, Rs 1.20 lakh, Rs 1 lakh, and Rs 70,000, respectively.

General secretary Vilekho Bio informed that a “pay and watch” system for the championship will be hosted online for Rs 150. The gallery ticket will be priced at Rs 150 per person, chair tickets for Rs 500, and Rs 2,000 for donor tickets.

As directed by the State government, all wrestlers will have to undergo the COVID-19 test—including intending wrestlers from outside the state. Spectators will also be screened at the entry points.

Forms for interested players will be available at Sports World, Kohima. Forms can also be collected from the respective unit presidents, and also from the NWA officials. The last date for registration is March 31.

Wrestlers will also be required to submit character certificates issued by the village council authority to qualify for the championship.

The Nagaland Wrestling Referee board will be conducting the matches. Video review facilities will also be made available.

The championship will be hosted and managed by the Chakesang Wrestling Association (CWA).

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