A wrestling competition traditionally held to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the northern Vietnamese of Hai Phong stands out as the only of its kind where female wrestlers can challenge their male counterparts.
The fighting event has been held annually for the past ten years in the first lunar calendar month, as part of the local Tet celebrations, with this year’s competition taking on Friday.
The competition, held at the local culture center of Van Tra Village in An Dong Commune, opened to any wrestling-lovers and set no restrictions on weight, height, and age of the participants.
|Spectators gather around the wrestling ring in Hai Phong, northern Vietnam, on March 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The fighting game was not restricted to the locals, and out-of-towners could freely sign up to challenge the Van Tra fighters.
A contender would be announced the winner if he or she could bring his or her opponent down with their back facing the ground.
|Two male competitors fight inside the wrestling ring. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Wrestlers competed in a ring, installed one meter above the ground, so a large crowd of spectators could enjoy the fight from afar.
Nguyen Minh Thu, a female professional wrestler currently training in Hai Phong, stole the show at Friday’s competition as she challenged a 20-year-old male professional wrestler named Nguyen Van Canh.
The match ended after an hour of intense fight, with the female wrestler named winner.
|Female wrestler Nguyen Minh Thu (red) grabs her male opponent’s leg. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Another highlight of the day was the fight between two Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalists, Hoang Van Nam from Hai Phong, and Tran Van Tuong, from the northern Ninh Binh Province.
After three rounds of tied scores, the two wrestlers entered extra-time and the out-of-town fighter was decided as the winner in the end.
|Two SEA Games champions, Tran Van Tuong (red shorts) and Hoang Van Nam, fight against each other. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The audience were given an intense and yet splendid performance by the two professional wrestlers.
At the end of the competition, the three winners, especially female wrestler Thu, received handsome monetary prizes from the organizers and also cash prize from the spectators.