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March 11 Meet Adds Global Tag To Thang-Ta

IMPHAL, Mar 5: The first-ever international championship of Thang-Ta, Manipur‘s ancient martial art form, will be held here from March 11.

The four-day championship is being organized jointly by the Thang-Ta Federation of India and Huyel Langlon, said federation president H Premkumar Singh. So far, 45 Thang-Ta players from five countries have confirmed participation in the championship to be held at the Khuman Lampak indoor stadium, he added.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and sports minister-cum-government spokesman N Biren Singh are respectively the honorary chairman and vice-chairman of the tournament organizing committee. “Thang-Ta players from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and United Kingdom are taking part in the championship. Within the next couple of days, other countries like Uganda, Myanmar, China and Pakistan might give their confirmation,” Premkumar said at a media conference here on Saturday afternoon.

The maiden championship comes a fortnight after Manipur bagged the highest number of medals among all states of the country in the 34th National Games in Jharkhand.

The federation’s chief advisor Guru Birjit Ngangomba said, besides giving an impetus to Thang-Ta enthusiasts across the world, the championship will also popularize the weapon-based martial arts of Manipur.

An exponent of this art form, Birjit said Thang-Ta had been utilized as a tool in various battles as an offensive and defensive mechanism with swords, spears and physical movements by Manipuri warriors since time immemorial. He said five categories of Thang-Ta Ahanba Phunaba, Anisuba Phunaba, Thang Leiteng, Thanglon Chatpa and Taron, will be on show at the championship.

He further said the federation, which had been recognized by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had so far organized 17 national level and 21 state level championships of Thang-Ta. “We are so happy to have a number of patrons and well wishers who have come forward to support the international event,” Premkumar said.

The federation is a member of the Asian and World Thang-Ta Federation.

(Courtesy: TNN)

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