Bhutanese judo players won four gold of the 8 that was awarded at the recently concluded Bhutan Friendship Judo Tournament held in Thimphu, a press release from the Bhutan Judo Association stated (BJA).   A total of 30 judo players including eight girls from Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan participated in eight weight categories.

Kinley Tshering (-66kg), Bikash Tamang (-50kg), Ngawang Namgyel (-60kg) and Phub Dem (-48kg), all students of Pelkhil School, won gold for Bhutan. Three other players, Tashi Wangchuk, Tandin Wangchuk and Jigme Dorji won silver.

This was the first edition of the Bhutan Friendship Judo Tournament that the BJA organised with support from the Bhutan Olympic Committee. According to the BJA, the tournament was held to promote greater regional interaction through Judo and to promote higher standards of Judo in ‘Bhutan’ and the region.

Bangladesh was represented by the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan, which represents the national champions in Bangladesh. Nepal was represented by the Child Watabaran Center of Nepal. Both teams fielded players who have represented their countries at international Judo tournaments.

JICA’s Chief Representative Koji Yamada sponsored prizes for the Best Fighter from each team based on special attributes observed during the tournament. The winners were Tashi Wangchuk from Bhutan, Priyanka Akther from Bangladesh and Sachin Waiba from Nepal.

Judo was introduced in Bhutan in 2010 with the founding of the Bhutan Judo Association. According to the BJA President, Karma L Dorji, Judo is a unique martial art that is effective yet less violent as it does not permit kicking and punching. Opponents can be defeated decisively through throws, locks and chokes without injury.

Two Bhutanese players will be selected to study at a university in Japan in 2018 while also training for Judo. The SEISA Group of Japan is supporting the programme. Japan leads the world in Judo and is the place where all countries send their teams for training prior to major tournaments.

Staff reporter