Competition: The Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF), during the third recurve bow national ranking competition in Thimphu yesterday, selected the top three archers each in men and women categories to represent the country in the world championships in July.

Kinley Tshering bagged gold, Nima Wangdi silver and Karma Tshering bronze in the men’s category.  In the women’s group, Karma took the gold, Choki Wangmo silver and Sonam Dema got the bronze to qualify for the championship that will be held in Denmark.

Annually, BAF organises four such competitions to keep the national archers’ performance in check, and also to rate them on their abilities.  The general secretary of BAF, Tshewang Rinchen, said that, unlike in past competitions, the third national ranking competition this year was special, since it was a preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics. “This will be our first step towards the road to Rio 2016,” he said.

The top eight archers (individual and group) from the world championships in Denmark will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and wild card entry during the 2012 London Olympics, Bhutan has never qualified for the Olympics.

Tshewang Rinchen said that the Denmark championships would be an exposure for the national archers to compete at an international level. “If we qualify for the Olympics, that will be a historic moment for us and the country,” he said.

Kinley Tshering, the gold medallist in the men’s category, said that this was a proud moment for him to have got the opportunity to represent the country in the World championships. “I’ve trained well and this time I’m hoping to qualify into the Olympics,” he said.

Karma, who has been playing archery for the past seven years, won the gold medal in the women’s category.  She said that she was excited for the world championships in Denmark. “I’d been sick for some time, but now I’ve returned to my form and I expect to deliver my best during the world championships. Hopefully we can win some medals,” she said.

A total of 11 national archers (recurve bow) took part in the competition.

By Younten Tshedup