Twelve students taking part in the Open National Junior Badminton Championship 2023 will represent Bhutan in the upcoming South Asian Regional Championship which will be held in Nepal in August this year. The five-day tournament to select the national players held at the Babena Badminton Sports Complex in Thimphu ended today. Over 70 students from various districts took part in the Under-17 and Under-15 categories.
The finals of the tournament were held today. The Bhutan Badminton Federation has yet to announce the selected players. However, a list of recommended players will be put to the selection committee and Bhutan Olympic Committee for selection. The federation will then have to get the consent of the parents and teachers of the student concerned before the selection is finalised.
‘‘So the selection process will start from today. We have selected a few potential players. So the next thing that the selection committee will do is that the coaches will submit the most talented players as this tournament provided a platform for them to show cast their skills. So it is a talent and identification platform. So the next step is that these most talented players will be invited back to the capital. So the next thing that they will do is that they will undergo a general fitness test,’’ said Norbu Dradhul, the technical coordinator of the National Junior Championship.
The federation will enroll the selected players in one of the schools which has a school-based badminton club. Coaches will then be sent to train them in the schools.
Meanwhile, officials added that due to the enhanced facilities for sports and the support from the parents and relevant stakeholders, the game is seeing an improvement in the country.
‘‘In 2019 we could bring about four medals from the South Asian Regional tournament. The achievement was the first time for the federation. After that, this year we have taken part in the same tournament in India and received four medals. Hereafter, we will continue training our youth and hope to bring home more medals,” said Sherub Gyeltshen, coach of the National Badminton Team.
Students from remote schools such as Gesarling Higher Secondary School in Dagana, Tangmachu Central School in Lhuentse, and Peljorling Higher Secondary School in Samtse are also participating in the championship. These schools have school-based badminton clubs. 10 students from each school participated in the tournament.
‘‘The game was very worthwhile, I gained more experience plus confidence. The first time I didn’t get any confidence and I was about to lose the match as I proceeded, I got more confident and I am here to win,’’ said Sarita Gurung.
‘‘Participating in this tournament, it has been a very special event for me. Whereas I learned new things, new stuff from others and it has been an inspiring thing for me as a player in Badminton,” said Yangchen Dolkar.
‘‘I am happy that I was able to defeat last year’s champion because of the support from my parents and coaches. And I have gained a lot of knowledge and I am able to make a lot of friends. On top of that, I am able to know my mistake and I am expecting to correct my mistake in the future,’’ said Ngawang Rigsel Jurmey.
The winners and runners-up were awarded medals and certificates along with rackets. A total of 51 boys and 25 girls participated in the championship, representing various schools from Dagana, Lhuentse, Samtse, Thimphu, Haa, Paro, Wangdue Phrodrang, and Pema Gatshel.