Thinley Namgay

As the 19th Asian Games (AG) in China draws near, seven archers from the Bhutan Archery Federation are training at the Langjophakha archery range.

Their eyes are firmly set on clinching medals in this prestigious competition, an accomplishment that has eluded Bhutan since its debut in the AG back in 1986.

The archers have been divided into two categories, with Lam Dorji, Sonam Choden, and Sonam Dema representing Bhutan in the recurve category, while Khendrup, Tashi Peljor, Yonten Jamtsho, and Tandin Dorji will compete in the compound category.

Yeshi Dema, the recurve coach, expressed confidence in the team’s preparation, praising their dedication and passion for the sport. With the second phase of close camp training scheduled for mid-August in Thimphu, she believes the archers will be well-prepared for the AG.


Archery is a demanding discipline, with competitors shooting 72 arrows in two sets of six rounds each, totaling 720 points. The recurve archery range spans 70 metres, while the compound category requires a range of 50 metres.

To prepare for the AG, the Bhutanese archers participated in the Asia Cup held in Singapore last month, where they had the opportunity to test their skills against opponents from 26 countries.

Lam Dorji, a seasoned athlete with 16 international games under his belt, is determined to secure a medal this time. Despite missing out on a podium finish at the 2018 AG in Indonesia, he remains optimistic about his chances.

During training, Lam Dorji managed an impressive score of 650 out of 720 points, indicating his readiness for the competition.

For Sonam Choden, it will be her debut at the AG, and she is eager to break her current benchmark of 642 points. Fueled by the desire to challenge herself against top-notch athletes, she views the AG as a valuable platform for learning and growth.

In the compound category, the four selected archers underwent robust training, backed by two years of preparation. Coach Tashi Tshering is optimistic about their performance, expecting improved results compared to previous competitions.

The Bhutan Olympic Committee  has also provided a stipend of Nu 15,000 to support the archers’ nutritional needs during their training.

Khendrup, one of the compound archers from Paro, has been honing his skills at a personal training range of 145 metres. Having gained valuable exposure during the Singapore tournament, he feels confident in his abilities to tackle the challenges of the AG, even in humid weather conditions.