May 18, 2024

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Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) :

Despite not being able to compete in the ongoing 19th Asian Games in China, the three Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh – Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu are optimised to perform better in the future and want the government of India to solve the issue. The three Indian athletes were denied entry to China to compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games last week. The absent trio – Lamgu, Wangsu and Tega – come from Arunachal Pradesh, a state in the northeast of India. The young Wushu players were given a warm welcome at the Naharlagun Railway station by the well-wishers, wushu association and family members on Tuesday as they returned home.

“We will work harder in the future and focus more on the upcoming games. We want China to solve this soon. All the big Wushu games coming up will be in China so we want this to be resolved as soon as possible. I appeal to the Indian government to solve this soon,” Onilu Tega told ANI.

Two of the Wushu players hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu and Mepung who were approved to participate by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organising Committee but were unable to download their accreditation cards – which act as visas to enter China.

Mepung said that they were ready to participate in their respective matches but because of some problems, the three players from Arunachal were left “disappointed”.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur also cancelled his visit to China for the Asian Games on Friday as a reply to China’s denial of visas to Wushu players.

“We were totally ready to participate, but because of some small thing, we could not go. We were disappointed. Whatever is meant to happen will happen and we cannot force it. We want to appeal to the government. The government tried hard. Even the Union Minister cancelled his trip for us. We will do our best for the future,” Mepung told ANI.

The third athlete Nyeman, who managed to download her accreditation, was informed that she would not be allowed to travel beyond Hong Kong. The athletes were to take part in individual events of the martial arts sport.

Nyeman asserted that this significant controversy has made the whole nation disappointed however they will move forward from this and give their best. The players urged the central government to solve the India-China issue as soon as possible so the other sports persons will not face the same problem.

“Apart from us, the whole of India is disappointed because we did not get to play. When the Wushu event also started, we felt very hurt because of this. We will try to give our best in future,” Nyeman said.

The athletes can however take heart from India’s strong performance in the Wushu event in the ongoing Asian Games. Roshibina Naorem Devi from Manipur stormed into the semi-final in the women’s 60 Kg category assuring the country of at least a bronze.

Surya Bhanu also posted a win over Uzbekistan’s Khaydarov 2-1 in the 1/8 final in the men’s 60kg category to qualify for the next round.

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