SAG: Four Bhutanese judokas are currently undergoing intense winter training for the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) in Guwahati and Shilong next month.

Of the 15 federations and associations affiliated with BOC, 10 will be taking part in the 12th SAG that begins from February 5 to February 16th.

Twelve archers, five badminton players, five athletes, seven boxers, four judokas, four shooters, three tennis players and 13 taekwondo players will be taking part in the SAG.

Bhutan Judo Association’s (BJA) president Karma L Dorji said that the training includes rigorous physical preparation along with well-organised diet control.

So far the association has taken part in six tournaments in Nepal, India, and Singapore on invitations from the respective judo federations.

Karma L Dorji said that this is the first time the association will be engaged in an international tournament approved by the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC).

Karma L Dorji said: “It’s only been six years since the establishment of the judo association in the country. We are still very young compared with our counterparts in the region. This tournament will be an exposure for our young judokas.”

He added that the physical difference of the players will make a big impact to the game. “Our players are teenagers with very little exposure. It will, however, be a good learning experience for us.”

The national women’s basketball team and under 23 national football team will also compete in the tournaments.

Bhutan Shooting Federation (BSF) hopes to bag a medal at least. BSF’s coach Dawa Lham said that although the federation has participated in numerous international tournaments since its establishment in 1997, the federation has not won a single medal so far. “This time we’re confident that we will bring home at least a bronze.”

The four BSF candidates have been undergoing vigorous training. Tshewang Lham from the Royal Bhutan Police is taking part in the competition for the first time. “I have been shooting for the past three years. I’m expecting to win a medal in my debut appearance at the competition.”

Younten Tshedup