Over 450 international athletes and officials from 25 Asian countries are expected at the weeklong competition

Bodybuilding: Bhutan will host the 50th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship 2016 from September 2 to 8 at the Royal Institute of Management hall in Thimphu.

The Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (ABBF) secretariat decided to host the mega international event in Bhutan after the success of the SAARC Championships, which was held in Thimphu in 2011.

It was during the 49th Asian Championships held in Uzbekistan last year that the federation officially declared the event to be hosted in Bhutan.

Preparations for the weeklong event began from January this year after the Bhutan Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation (BBWLF) under the Bhutan Olympic Committee got approval from the government.

A total of 26 athletes, 19 men and seven women, from Bhutan will take part in the competition. The participants are currently preparing for the event with support from BBWLF who is providing the participants with all the necessary equipment including dietary and protein supplements.

BBWLF general secretary, Wangchuk, said that the federation this time is hopeful that the Bhutanese athletes will perform better and win at least six medals at the competition.

“We are ready to host this mega international event. We are fully prepared and confident that the event will be a success,” said Wangchuk. “Things are moving as planned and there should not be any room for failure on our part.”

However, the only problem the federation is worried about is with the accommodation of the athletes and coordination during the event. “We have to book nine different hotels to accommodate the athletes since there is no single hotel in Thimphu that can house all the participants together,” said Wangchuk.

Over 450 international athletes and officials from 25 Asian countries are expected at the weeklong competition.

The event is divided into five major categories that will begin from September 5 to 7. For the first time, three Bhutanese will take part in the masters category which includes participants over the age of 40.

Wangchuk said that the event is an opportunity for the Bhutanese to socialise and exchange different cultural values with the participating countries.

“With the guiding principle and inspiration of His Majesty The King and the support from the government and various agencies and volunteers, we are able to host such big event in the country,” said Wangchuk. “Our athletes will showcase the best of the best talents we have in this international forum.”

A total of Nu 23 million (M) is expected to be the overall budget of the event. The government has supported the federation with Nu 6M.

Younten Tshedup