Thinley Namgay

China – After a consecutive exit of 16 Bhutanese athletes from the 19th Asian Games in China, the expectation of Bhutanese now hinges on the success of three recurve, and three compound archers.

The recurve archers booked the place for individual matches, and compound archers qualified for individual and team games.

Recurve archer Lam Dorji acquired 644 points out of 720 in the qualifying match yesterday. Among 84 archers from 29 countries, Lam stood 39th.

All participants shot 72 arrows in a 70-metre (m) archery range. Lam Dorji was confident amid scorching weather conditions and a massive crowd. Lam Dorji will face Thailand’s Phontahkom Chaisilp today.

“I am confident for the game and I will try my best,” he said.

Women’s recurve archers Sonam Dema and Sonam Choden have also booked their place for the individual recurve archery match.

Sonam Dema grabbed 585 points, and Sonam Choden bagged 551 points out of 720 points in the qualifying round. All 84 archers shot 72 arrows each on a 70m archery range. Only the top 51 archers progressed to the next round.

For the individual match today, Sonam Dema will face Mongolia’s Enkhtuya Altangeral, and Sonam Choden will play against Nilufar Hamroeva of Uzbekistan.

Recurve archery coach Yeshi Dema said the archers did their best yesterday. “I am optimistic to see good results in the individual games.”

Of the three Bhutanese compound archers contesting at the Games, Tandin Dorji and Khendrup have qualified for the individual compound archery match.

Of the 64 archers from 24 countries in the qualifying round yesterday, Tandin Dorji ranked 11th with 699 points.  Khendrup scored 688 points and ranked 33rd.

Although compound archer, Younten Jamtsho, stood 51st position with 667 points, he couldn’t qualify. The organiser selects only the top two archers from each country for the compound individual match.

However, all three of them qualified for the team match.

In the individual compound match today, Tandin Dorji will face Kittiphat Uthaimongkol of Thailand, and Khendrup will play against Ghazalli of Malaysia.

Khendrup, Tandin Jamtsho, and Younten Jamtsho will play against team Indonesia in the compound team match today.

Meanwhile, runner Tshering Penjor lost his men’s 200m race yesterday. He finished the race in 22.83secs and maintained the personal best. With yesterday’s loss, he exited the games.