Thinley Namgay

The Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) has opened online registration for the second Bhutan Grand Prix. However, since the opening a month ago, only 10 archers have registered from across the country as of yesterday.

The turnout is low compared to the first edition in 2022.

There were 22 participants in 2022, including a woman archer, in this international-style compound archery tournament.

The online registration was supposed to close yesterday. However, BAF coach, Tashi Tshering, said the registration would remain open until the tournament starts to attract more participants. “Even if some participants apply on May 9, BAF will allow that.”

Tashi Tshering said the BAF expects at least 20 archers for the competition. He said that out of the 10 applicants, four are women. “This is encouraging.” 

The 2024 Bhutan Grand Prix is scheduled to be held at BAF’s archery range at Langjophakha in Thimphu from May 9 to May 13. The distance of the range is 50 metres.  

The tournament provides an opportunity for archers to use accessories such as sights and triggers.

One reason for the low number of participants could be the expenditure involved in buying equipment, according to archers.

A bow costs between Nu 40,000 and 140,000. A sight charges between Nu 30,000 to Nu 70,000, and a trigger cost between Nu 7,000 and Nu 35,000. And, one has to spend a minimum of Nu 1,000 for a pair of arrows.    

Moreover, the tournament is held in the capital, and it is not feasible for archers from far-flung places to participate. Some interested archers are office workers, and some are engaged in private businesses.

Three of the four best archers from the first edition have underwent further training and represented the country at the 19th Asian Games in China in 2023. They reached the quarterfinals.

Tashi Tshering said the top four archers from this upcoming tournament would also get similar opportunities. “BAF will provide them with additional training and send them to participate in the Asia Cup Stage one.”  

The Bhutan Grand Prix is a national tournament. Although compound archery is gaining popularity in the country, not many are aware of international tournaments rules and format.

As of now, there is no permanent compound archers at BAF and so Bhutan has been able to compete only in the recurve category in most international tournaments.

The grand prix tournaments could address the issue, archers say.

BAF in collaboration with the Bhutan Olympic Committee will organise the tournament.