Kohima: Twenty-three-year-old Kezhaseluo Pienyü has emerged as the champion at the 14th International Hornbill Naga Wrestling Championship held at Amphitheatre, Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, on Saturday. The championship was organised by the Nagaland Wrestling Association (NWA).
Pienyü defeated former three-time champion Dzieselatuo Keretsü by two straight bouts in the final to take the title. “I feel happy. It’s all thanks to God,” the champ tells EastMojo.
Pienyü, who was inspired by his wrestler dad, shared that to pursue wrestling as a profession, one must work hard. As for the diet, the young wrestler recommended meat, particularly beef, which, according to him, is nourishing and strengthens the body.
Former champ Dzieselatuo Keretsü shared how he continues to chase his dream.
As for the recently concluded championship, he said, “I started the preparations (for the Hornbill championship) about four months ago. It is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes, even if I don’t feel like working out, I have to. Also, I east 3-4 meals a day,” he said.
Also a former basketball player, Keretsü recalled how he began to wrestle at the age of 29 and he expressed contentment for the opportunities received so far. He said the ancient indigenous game has helped create a bond among wrestlers.
Meanwhile, Atuo Tevo and Kekhriezo Nagi secured the third and fourth positions, respectively, in the championship. The champion walked home with a cash prize of Rs. 1,20,000, runners up received Rs 80,000. The third and fourth position received Rs. 40,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
In the Amateur/tourist category, Shekho Veini stood first with Moses Puomai declared the runners up. Daikho Puomai and Pavilou stood third and fourth, respectively. The winner received a cash prize of Rs 30,000 and the runners up Rs. 20,000. While the semifinalists received Rs. 10,000 each.
Altogether 30 wrestlers from Angami Sports Association, Chakhesang wrestling Association and Zeliang Wrestling Association participated for the championship title.
Advisor for Youth Resources and Sports Er Zale Neikha graced the occasion as the special guest.
In his short address, he said Naga wrestling is by far the highest grossing sports event in Nagaland and urged the need to improve the Naga style of wrestling.
He requested the NWA to play an active role in the promotion of Naga wrestling to greater heights. The politician also encouraged other Naga tribes to come forward and participate in Naga wrestling events.
NWA president Dr Haibe Zeliang informed that the NWA has a new addition to the wrestling fraternity as the Wokha Wrestling Association, which was recently formed, has been granted provisional affiliation under the NWA.
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