The last Bhutanese athlete at the ongoing 18th Asian Games, Nim Dorji, lost to Pakistani boxer Naquubullah in the men’s bantam (56kg) weight category at the Jakarta International Expo hall in Indonesia yesterday.

Despite an impressive performance, the 23-year-old lost by a split decision in the second preliminaries of the competition at day nine of the games.

Nima Dorji looked more confident physically and technically entering the fight.

Considered to be one of the elite boxers in the country today, he connected several heavy jabs to the face of his opponent.

Besides throwing those heavy jabs, the boxer was almost taunting the opponent in the second round of the bout. He knocked off the mouth guard of the opponent in the dying seconds of the second half.

The bout, however, went in favor of the Pakistani athlete when three of the five judges decided the winner in a split decision.

The chef de mission with the Bhutanese contingent, Nim Dorji, said that despite being knocked out of the Games early, all athletes performed to the best of their abilities.

“Like the rest of the participating countries, we also expected to win few medals. However, we couldn’t achieve that,” said Nim Dorji. “This is not the end for our athletes since we still have many opportunities ahead including the South Asian Games next year in Nepal. We have to continue our practice for that now.”

He said that while the Bhutanese athletes showcased an improved performance, the other participating countries had improved by many folds at the same time. “As we improve, we have to know that our opponents are improving as well. Therefore, we have to put in more effort if we are to win a medal at international competitions.”

A total of 24 Bhutanese athletes in archery, boxing, golf and taekwondo took part in the ongoing 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

All athletes were eliminated at the end of day nine of the 16-day multi-sport event.

Younten Tshedup | Jakarta