INTRODUCTION: Niger's National Wrestling Championships ended on Friday (2 January) when a victory for Balla.
SV EXTERIOR Kadade and Balla wrestling with foreheads together
SG ZOOM IN Kadade and Balla locked in shoulder-hold
GV & SV Crowds watch as both wrestlers try to throw each other (4 shots)
GV Balla throws Kadade to win contest, wrestlers shake hands and Balls off
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Niger's National Wrestling Championships ended on Friday (2 January) when a victory for Balla. The final was a local derby with the two contestants, Balla and Langalanga, both coming from the town of Zinder. To reach the final, Balla had to beat Kadade from the town of Tahoua in the semi-final. It proved an exciting bout.
SYNOPSIS: Nigeria's wrestling rules demand that the contestants start the bout head on head. Kadade is the slightly taller wrestler in the foreground. The rule means that any advantage in height is offset. Once the wrestlers are locked in a shoulder-hold, the object is to throw the opponent off balance.
This can be done by tripping up the opponent, pushing or pulling him, or using one's body weight to throw him. Extremely fast reactions and close concentration are essential to endure in a sport which may go on for hours. The bout is over when one wrestler is forced to touch the ground with any part of his body other than his feet.
In the semi-final, Balla won in a flurry of dramatic movements, forcing Kadade's head to touch the ground. It won him the bout and a place in the national finals.