Vethozo Lohe and Avilie Zuyie, 19 years old arm wrestlers from Phek district and Kohima district have been selected in the Indian team to compete in the International Federation of Armwrestling (IFA) World Armwrestling Championship which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 25 September-1 October 2023.
Speaking to Nagaland Tribune, Vethozo Lohe from Phek, who started his armwrestling journey by the winning of gold medal in the 36th Phek District Sports Association (PDSA) 2021 mentioned that one of the major challenges he faced as an arm wrestler is ‘financial restrain’ which has often held him from participating outside the State. With the sport of arm wrestling in the State being limited, Lohe admits, “Most of the competition is outside Nagaland and it is very hard for me to travel every now and then.”
“I was also selected last year for international participation but I could not attend because of my Visa but this time luckily I got selected and I got Visa,” said Lohe. He informed that seven arm wrestlers were selected from Nagaland to compete in the IFA. However, some of them could not join the team as their Passports were not ready.
When asked if he had foreseen participating or competing in the international levels, Lohe said, “I never expected coming this far.” While apprehensive about competing at the international level, Lohe says that he has been working hard preparing himself at the gym for the World Armwrestling Championship.
With financial constraints being a major challenge for many skilled athletes, Lohe has appealed the government to continually extend the financial support even for National participation and not just for international levels.
Vethozo Lohe is a National Armwrestler who has bought laurels to the State by subsequently winning 3 gold medals in 2022 and 4 gold medals in the youth/senior left/right in the 3rd BCAI National Armwrestling Championship held at Bangalore, Karnataka.
The duo will be competing in the ‘below 78 kg’ and ‘below 86 kg’ categories.