In the heart of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Bhutan’s contingent of athletes may have been reduced in number, but their spirits remain high as they continue to vie for glory on the international stage. Of the 26 Bhutanese athletes who began their journey at the prestigious games, only five remain in the contest as of yesterday. Among these determined athletes, three belong to the compound archery team, while the other two are karate practitioners.
Today marks a crucial moment for Bhutan, as they prepare to face India in the compound archery team competition. The athletes have undergone rigorous training and preparation since the qualification rounds, showcasing their dedication and commitment to their respective sports.
Bhutan’s karate team, consisting of Tshering Phuntsho and Rinchen Jamtsho, is set to compete in the men’s kumite -60kg category. Tshering Phuntsho is scheduled to go head-to-head with Dahlan MHB of Brunei Darussalam, while Rinchen Jamtsho will face off against Fahed Alajmi of Kuwait in the same category on October 7. In disciplines like karate, swimming, boxing, judo, and taekwondo, athletes follow a knockout format, where every bout is a make-or-break moment.
Bhutan’s karate team arrived in China on October 1, and their coach, Tshering Dorji, is not letting the pressure affect his team’s morale. He emphasizes the importance of giving their best regardless of the outcome, remaining optimistic about their performance in the Games.
While Bhutan’s representation in some sports has come to an end, the nation continues to support its athletes with unwavering enthusiasm. The Asian Games, which commenced on September 24, have seen China leading the medal tally with an impressive 304 medals, including 165 gold and 91 silver. Japan is in second place with 135 medals, boasting 35 gold medals in their count. South Korea follows closely in third position with 144 medals, consisting of 33 gold, 44 silver, and 67 bronze.
It’s worth noting that South Korea is behind Japan in the medal tally due to the gold and silver medal difference. Meanwhile, India, representing the SAARC region, has secured a commendable 80 medals, including 18 gold, 30 silver, and 32 bronze as of yesterday.
The 19th Asian Games are set to conclude on October 8, but the sporting excitement doesn’t end there. From October 9 to October 15, the highly anticipated Asian Para Games will take place at the same venue, promising even more awe-inspiring moments and athletic achievements.
As Bhutan’s compound archery and karate athletes continue to compete, they serve as a source of inspiration and national pride, demonstrating that determination and dedication can lead to success on the grandest stage of Asian sports. Bhutan’s sports enthusiasts will be eagerly watching and cheering for their remaining athletes as they aim for victory and uphold their nation’s sporting legacy.