Award: Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) President, His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, granted cash soelras to the medal winners of the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) yesterday.

A total of Nu 2.09 million was awarded to 21 athletes and coaches who bagged 15 bronze and one silver medal at the games held at Guwahati and Shillong earlier this month.

Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck congratulated the athletes and coaches for putting up a good show at the competition and winning several medals for the country. HRH said that despite the limited time and resources, the participants managed to display a decent performance at the games and also encouraged them to do better in the upcoming championships.

The men’s compound bow team which managed to win the only silver medal for the country was awarded a cheque of Nu 300,000. The women’s recurve team was awarded Nu 150,000. Each team consisted of three players each.

Team archery won four bronze and one silver medal at the competition. Two Bhutanese boxers also received Nu 100,000 each for winning a bronze medal.

Bhutanese taekwondo athletes won nine bronze medals, the maximum medals received by a federation at an international competition. Nine taekwondo athletes received Nu 100,000 each.

The coaches from the three federations received 10 percent of the cash from the total amount presented to the athletes of the respective federations.

The awards were based on the newly formulated Sports Excellence Awards (SEA), approved by the government and BOC to reward medallists and record breakers in the Olympics, other international games and competitions. The SEA was introduced with the confidence that it would inspire and motivate the youth to excel in sports at the international levels.

The terms and conditions for SEA says that awards are presented to individual athletes and not to the respective National Sports Federations. “Athletes who break the World Championships or the Asian Games or Olympic games records will be awarded an additional 25 percent of the applicable awarded amount.”

A total of 85 Bhutanese athletes competed in the 12-day competition. Some 4,500 athletes and officials from the eight SAARC countries took part in the competition.

Younten Tshedup