Bodybuilding: After being disqualified during the weighing session, Bhutanese bodybuilder Tseten Drukpa went on to win the first gold medal for the country in the on going 50th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship on September 5 in Thimphu.

The 33-year-old bodybuilder from Trashigang did not qualify for the men’s bodybuilding up to 55kg category during the weighing session. However, it took just two hours for Tseten Drukpa to reduce his weight and qualify for the category. He was able to drop 4kg.

“I weighed 59kg just before the competition,” said Tseten Drukpa. “I didn’t want to compete in the 60kg category so I had just two hours to get myself into the 55kg category.”

After almost a decade of hard work and dedication, Tseten Drukpa achieved his dream of winning a gold at an international competition. “I was expecting to at least get selected in the top five. Winning the category was a pleasant surprise.”

Tseten’s interest for the sport also led him to start a gym in Thimphu, Fitness Dragon Gym, where he trains some 250 members.

Thinley Dorji, 24 bagged gold at the Asian competition on September 5. He won the medal in the fitness physique over 165cm category.

He said that with all the hard work he had put in for the last four years, he was expecting to win a medal at the competition. “Bodybuilding is an individual sport which is why everyone has a chance to succeed in this field. If you have the interest and will to challenge your limits, bodybuilding can take you places.”

The competition so far has been a success story for the Bhutanese bodybuilders. A total of three gold, one silver and seven bronze medals went to the host country, taking the medal tally to 11 at the end of the second day of the competition.

Emotions ran high for the Bhutanese bodybuilder Sangay Tsheltrim who won the third gold medal for the country yesterday at the Royal Institute of Management auditorium. The former Mr Bhutan won gold in the men’s athletic physique up to 175cm category.

While the sport of bodybuilding is fast picking up its pace in the county, Tseten Drukpa said that bodybuilding is not only punishing on the person who actually practises it, but it is also one of the most expensive sports to get into.

The last week before a competition is vital for any bodybuilder. They cannot eat anything that contains carbohydrate for three days and, on the final day before a competition, bodybuilders are not advised to drink water or any fluid.

On an average, a bodybuilder spends over Nu 50,000 monthly on diet and supplements.

Younten Tshedup