Chanambam wins India’s first IJF World title

India's first World Cadet Champion

Linthoi Chanambam is a 16-year-old World Cadet Champion. On her way to the final, she had to face players from Georgia, Bosnia and Poland in the preliminary rounds. She defeated all of them by ippon.

Against Nino Darchia (GEO), she used an ura-nage for waza-ari and then later strangled her Georgian opponent with koshi-jime for the submission.

She used ura-nage again, in her next match, against Amina Merjem Hebib (BIH). Chanambam’s fondness for pick-ups is not surprising as her coach is Georgian.

As if to display her versatility, Chanambam used groundwork to defeat Julia Bulanda (POL), pinning her with kuzure-kesa-gatame.

She then proceeded to defeat Emma Melis (FRA) with a very low ouchi-gari for a ticket to the final. There, she faced Bianca Reis from Brazilian who gave her the toughest match of the day.

Midway through the contest, she countered a series of attacks by the Brazilian with a well-timed kosoto-gake. It only scored waza-ari but that was enough to win her the match as she managed to prevent Reis from getting any score until the end.

Watch Chanambam’s journey to World Cadet gold.

And with that, Chanambam, the daughter of fish farmers in Manipur, became the first Indian player to win an IJF World title. According to Chanambam, she has been training for this for the past five years.