Thinley Namgay

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games in France are set to commence after three months, but  Bhutan is yet to select athletes who can represent the country in such a mega sporting event in the world.

In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Bhutanese celebrated the news of archer Karma who achieved an Olympic quota. She was the only athlete who managed quota from Bhutan.

The Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) is trying to select athletes from boxing, recurve archery, and swimming for the upcoming  Olympic. However, none of the athletes from these designated sports have qualified as of now.

BOC plans to select three best participants, likely one each from three selected sports.

To secure an Olympic quota, all athletes have to go through a qualification round which has been challenging for Bhutan since its participation in the games in 1984.

Bhutan has competed in the Olympics only through a wild card entry so far.

A BOC official, Tshering Zam, said, “If we do not qualify, we will have to apply for a wild card entry.”

Senior national archers, Kinley Tshering, Lam Dorji, and Sonam Penjor, will again compete for the qualification round in June in Turkey. Last November, they could not make it from the Bangkok Archery Championship.

Archers, coaches, and officials at Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) are optimistic about getting an Olympic quota.

BAF’s official said the minimum qualifying score is 640 points, but players have to acquire more than that.

BAF officials are confident that the federation could achieve its target considering the experience of three players and coach Park Young Sook from South Korea.

Boxers Tashi Wangdi, Tenzin Drugyel, Tashi Yoezer, and Dechen Dorji lost recently at the qualification match in Italy. They will again contest in Thailand before the Olympics.

Swimmers Sangay Tenzin and Kinley Lhendup are training in Phuket, Thailand. They will also participate in a few competitions before the Olympics.

Even if the swimmers cannot manage a quota for the Olympics, they have high hopes of participating through a universality place.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) provides universality opportunity for those countries that do not have a qualified athlete.

Swimmer Sangay Tenzin, who participated in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said, “Both of us are training rigorously. Ever since we reached Thailand, we have been training little break.”

“It’s always a huge honour to represent my country on the international stage,” Sangay said.

He said it is difficult to qualify for the Olympics because Bhutan is new to swimming.

Olympic Games are held every four years and Bhutan has been participating since 1984. Bhutan will make its 10th appearance at the upcoming Olympics.

The Games will be held from July 26 to August 11 among 10,500 athletes in 329 events in 32 sports with the motto “Games Wide Open”.

Paris will be the main host city for the competition. However, some games will be held in 16 other French cities.