Arunachal Wushu players leave behind Asian Games pain to dominate at National Games
Nyeman Wangsu and Mepung Lamgu dominated as Arunachal Pradesh won two medals in Wushu at the National Games 2023.
Arunachal Pradesh’s Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega, and Mepung Lamgu made unfortunate headlines recently as they qualified for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games, but were denied visas into China, rendering them unable to compete at the marquee event.
Although left disappointed by this development, the trio made a statement with their comeback as they marched to podium finishes at the 37th National Games Goa.
On Day 2 of Wushu at the 37th National Games, Nyemen Wangsu delivered a stellar performance to clinch Gold in Taolu at the Daoshu event. This was the 21-year-old’s second successive Wushu Gold at the National Games after she accomplished the same feat at the 36th National Games Gujarat.
Arunachal’s Mepung Lamgu, who arrived in Goa with an injured knee sustained in the recently held National Camp in Patiala, also bagged the Silver Medal in the Women’s Taijiquan event. Meanwhile, Onilu Tega continued her march forward in the Sanda half of the draw as she downed top seed Namrata Batra of Madhya Pradesh in the quarter-final of the 52kg category.
Meanwhile, in the Sanda half of the draw, Onilu Tega was stopped in her tracks by Namrata Batra of Madhya Pradesh in the quarter-final of the 52kg category.
The trio faced major heartbreak in September 2023 after diplomatic issues denied them the opportunity to reap the fruits of years of labor that went into their qualification for the 2023 Asian Games.
Speaking about the disappointment of not being able to compete in Hangzhou, Nyeman Wangsu said, “Ever since we started training in Wushu, our ambition has always been to compete at the Asian Games as it is the highest level of competition in the sport. So, we were heartbroken at first to not be able to compete despite qualifying because of something that was not in our hands.”
Wangsu added that coach Premchandra Singh has been instrumental in helping her get over the setback and set her sights on future competitions.
She said, “Our coach understood our heartbreak because we worked so hard all together, but then he only took the initiative to help us move on. His guidance was that we are still very young with a bright future ahead of us. There is no point in looking back on the past as it will only hinder our practice. We have left the disappointments of the past behind and have eyes only on the future now.”
As Wangsu and co look to turn their focus towards the upcoming Wushu World Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, USA scheduled to be held from November 16 – 20, 2023, this strong showing at the 37th National Games is sure to go a long way in ensuring that the contingent heads into the competition with strong momentum.
“There wasn’t proper infrastructure in the beginning, but as we worked hard towards our goals and started winning medals, gradually the state granted us better training facilities for us to continue our efforts. Our coach Premchandra sir has worked tirelessly towards the growth of the sport, and he is the prime reason that everyone in Arunachal Pradesh is well aware of Wushu as being a graceful Chinese martial art form now,” said Wangsu.
In the Women’s Changquan event, Arunachal’s 19-year-old Mercy Nagaimong also bagged her second successive National Games Gold Medal. She said after her win, “At our residential academy in Itanagar, the facilities for training are really good. They are also building a new Chinese Wushu arena which will have all the facilities so that players can focus on their training. It feels very good that I have been able to win a medal for my state and give something back to my state.”