Nineteen-year old Kinga Rabgay broke the 100m dash national record of 11.29 seconds by completing the race in 11.20 seconds at the 14th National school athletics meet held in Thimphu yesterday. Footballer Chencho Gyeltshen held the last national record in 2014, when he competed from Kelki Higher Secondary School.

Kinga Rabgay from Motithang Higher Secondary School has been practising since March this year. He had been practising sprints to give his best in the upcoming national level contest. The class XII student has been involved in self-training and was on the track twice a week.

The record holder said that he did not think he would be able to break the national record. He said the signs were clear to him as he had competitive contenders and good time records before the final.  “I was confident that I will win the dash but it was unexpected to become a new record holder. I am extremely happy and it’s an invincible achievement for me,” Kinga Rabgay said.

Kinga Rabgay said he is more into sports than into academics. The increasing scope in sports and young athletes being supported with scholarships inspired him to dedicate his time for sports. “These opportunities keep us focused and determined to pursue the sport,” the record holder said.

The five-day national school athletics meet brought together more than 400 athletes from 104 schools across the country. Schools under Thimphu Thromde had more number of participants in the event since they had more access to sports facilities and trainings.

Thimthrom won the maximum number of medals during the meet.

Dorji Tshering from Pelkhil School is the two time record holder in 400m mid distance run and bagged gold in 4x100m relay race. He said that there is vast difference between well-trained athlete and the one who aren’t. “I see many potential athletes from other schools but they couldn’t perform as they don’t have adequate practice and facilities,” he said.

Kinley Dorji, 22, from Taktse Rigzhung Higher Secondary School had competed in 100m-dash since 2013. His attempts for gold ended with Bronze thrice. “My contenders were well trained and they got good facilities to practise here,” he said.

Deputy Chief Sports Coordinator Nima Gyeltshen said the event was successful with several national records being broken and athletes equipped with better sports kit. He said the organisers are happy to keep youth engaged meaningfully.

He said they face challenges of not being able to give athletes proper acclimatisation time and practice time for those who come from far-flung places. “This could be the reason why the athletes couldn’t perform better in the competition,” the coordinator said.

The athletic meet ended yesterday.