After Nepal heroics, state sepaktakraw players brim with gratitude
KOHIMA — Striker Menenü Tsükrü, feeder Seyiekhrieno Tepa, tekong Rukuvinu Tsükrü, and striker Sezovelü Dozo, who formed the core of the Indian women’s sepaktakraw team that won two gold medals at the 5th South Asian Sepaktakraw Championship, arrived in Dimapur on Sunday.
Upon their arrival at Dimapur Airport, accompanied by their coach Holshe Khrieo, who hails from Nagaland as well, the team received a warm welcome from the Nagaland Sepaktakraw Association (NSA) and well-wishers.
The Indian women’s sepaktakraw team, comprising eight players, clinched two gold medals by emerging victorious in the quadrant and regu events at the championship held from January 31 to February 2 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The remaining players on the team consisted of tekong Monika Poonia and striker Poonam from Haryana, tekong L Jaina Devi from Goa, and striker Asmita Malla from Delhi. The team was also accompanied by the women’s coach, Bibhu Machi from Assam.
While the team secured two championship trophies, Tsükrü and Tepa each received two gold medals, while Dozo and Tsukru earned one gold medal each.
Upon their return, Menenü Tsükrü reported to her camp at Tezpur in Assam, where she serves in the SSB. Meanwhile, Seyiekhrieno Tepa, Rukuvinu Tsükrü, and Sezovelü Dozo went to the State Sports Academy in Dimapur, Nagaland.
On her return, Dozo shared with Eastern Mirror about the importance of winning and representing India, as well as her commitment to doing her best and pursuing more medals to bring honour to both Nagaland and India in the days to come.
She expressed determination to persevere, leveraging the recognition gained from their victory to strive for greater accolades in the future. The striker extended gratitude to all supporters, both near and far.
According to Dozo, there has been a positive shift in the way people see both players and the sport of sepaktakraw in Nagaland and this has helped them overcome obstacles and emerge victorious while competing against various nations.
She appealed for continuous support from all stakeholders as they look forward to participating in more competitions at the state, national, and international levels.
She also expressed gratitude to the Sepaktakraw Federation of India (SFI) for their faith in her and acknowledged the support provided by the Department of Youth Resources and Sports (YRS), NSA, CM Neiphiu Rio, and Advisor to the CM Abu Metha.
Tepa expressed joy in bringing honour to both her state and country and attributed the victory to God, her parents, and the officials who supported her throughout her journey. Rukuvinu Tsükrü and Menenu Tsükrü said that it’s a proud moment for them.
Coach Holshe Khrieo, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the SFI for selecting both the players and himself to represent Nagaland and described the victory as a “great achievement” for the Indian team and one of the “biggest achievements” for them as players and coach from Nagaland.
Khrieo also expressed gratitude to Neiphiu Rio, who is also the president of Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA), and Abu Metha, the association’s secretary-general, along with the Department of YRS for their support.
It’s worth mentioning that alongside the women’s team, the Indian men’s sepaktakraw team also secured the championship title in Nepal during the event, earning three gold medals—one each in the team event, regu event, and quadrant event.
- Tsükrü represented the country’s women’s team in various international events.
- Competed in the team event at the 31st King’s Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2016.
- Member of the team that secured a bronze medal in the regu event at the 13th International De France Cup in 2017, held in Strasbourg, France.
- Tsükrü and her team won a gold medal in the team event at the 2nd South Asian Sepaktakraw Championship in 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- She was part of the team that competed in the team event at the 33rd King’s Cup in Korat, Thailand, in 2018.
- Played with the team at the 36th King’s Cup in 2023, held in Korat, Thailand, securing a silver medal in the regu event.
- Represented the Indian women’s team at the 35th King’s Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2022, securing a bronze medal in the hoop event.
- Dozo competed in the 4th South Asian Sepaktakraw Championship held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2022, representing the country’s women’s team and securing two gold medals—one each in the quadrant and regu events.
- Participated in the 36th King’s Cup in Thailand in 2023 and earning a bronze medal in the quadrant event.
- Was part of the country’s women’s team during the 19th Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, China, in 2023.
- Member of the Indian women’s team during the 4th South Asia Sepaktakraw Championship held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2022. Secured gold medals in both the quadrant and regu events.
- Participated in the 19th Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, China.
- Member of the team during the 36th King’s Cup held in Korat, Thailand, in 2023. Secured a bronze medal in the mixed regu event.
- Tsükrü represented the country’s women’s team at the 36th King’s Cup in Thailand in July 2023.
- She also represented the state of Nagaland in various national sepaktakraw games.
- Served as the coach of the state junior sepaktakraw team at the department of Youth Resources and Sports until his retirement.
- Served as the national coach, representing India in international sepaktakraw events on nine occasions.
- Honoured with the Governor’s Medal Award in 2010 and Dr. T Ao Sports Coaches Award in 2018.
- Recognised with the State Coach awards in 2006, 2009, 2019, and 2023.