Wrestling, which began today at the 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022, is not an established sport in Meghalaya by any means but it appears to have great potential for growth in the state.
The wrestling bouts are being held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex here, the first time that such an event has been seen in Shillong. The twists, turns and quick movements to flip an opponent enthralled the spectators, especially those from the state who were getting their first taste of wrestling.
In fact, there was no wrestling association in the state until one was formed earlier this year in order to host wrestling at the Games. Eleven wrestlers from Meghalaya entered the competition – five women and six men.
All 11 have made the jump from mixed martial arts (MMA), Wrestling Association of Meghalaya Vice-President Isaiah Kharmawphlang, who is well-known in the state for MMA, said today. They were given a crash course in their new sport by a coach from Manipur and “fell in love with wrestling from the first day,” he added.
It has been a huge learning experience for the budding wrestlers from the host state but they will definitely gain valuable insights and understanding by tackling their more experienced opponents, with Manipur and Nagaland expected to dominate.
“The seed has been planted and wrestling is here to stay,” Kharmawphlang said. “We from the Association have to nurture that seed and see that it grows.”