Kohima: Defending champion Kezhaseluo-o Pienyü on Saturday retained his title to become a two-time champion of the International Hornbill Naga Wrestling championship held at Naga Heritage village Kisama.
The 24-year-old wrestler won the final match against Venuzo Dawhuo to secure his title.
Pienyü, who is 6’3 feet tall and weighs 129 kg, hails from Kohima village, while his opponent Dawhuo, who is a prominent Naga wrestler, hails from Thenyizu village of Phek district.
The 15th International Hornbill Naga Wrestling Championship 2022 was held at Amphitheater at Kisama. As many as 24 wrestlers belonging to the Zeliang, Chakhesang, and Angami tribes grappled for the ultimate title.
Rukukhoto Khesoh and Vemele Thingo secured the third and fourth positions respectively. While the champion walked away with a cash prize money of Rs. 1,20,000, the runner-up received Rs 80,000, and the third and fourth position holders received Rs. 40,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively.
In the Amateur/tourist category, Rakhoveio Lümai from Senapati district in Manipur emerged as the winner, while Sentilong Imchen from Mokochung district secured the second position. Lao Jhakho from Saranamai in Manipur, and Limasunep Imchen from Mokokchung secured the third and fourth positions respectively.
The winner was awarded Rs. 30,000, while the runner-up received Rs. 20,000. The third and fourth position holders received Rs. 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.
Pollem Tep, president of the Rengma Hoho, inaugurated the championship. He pointed out how Nagas are trying their best to promote wrestling, which is an indigenous sport of the Nagas.
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He lauded elders for promoting wrestling till it was taken over by the Naga wrestling association. He encouraged players to maintain integrity, sincerity, honesty, and persistence.
The tournament was conducted by the Nagaland Wrestling Association.
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