Judo: Bhutanese judokas Tandin Wangchuk (under 73kg) and Phub Dem (under 48kg) each bagged gold medals at the 2015 Jagsport Judo Invitational tournament for cadets, in Singapore on November 21.

The four-member team along with the national coach and general secretary is representing the Bhutan Judo Association (BJA) at the tournament.

The four Bhutanese judokas, Tandin Wangchuk and Nima Zangmo of Pelkhil School, Phub Dem of Motithang Higher Secondary School and Bikash Tamang of Chang Rigphel Lower Secondary School, all managed to win a medal each at the tournament.

Nima Zangmo (under 48kg) powered through five opponents to earn a silver medal and Bikash Tamang (under 50kg) won a bronze. Tandin Wangchuk also won the outstanding player trophy in the boy’s category.

National coach Yoshihiro Horiuchi said that the Bhutanese team performed better than expected despite the fact that they were taking part in such tournament facing opponents from different countries where judo has been established for a long time and their performance recognized. “It was good opportunity for our players for the upcoming South Asian games which is scheduled next February,” he said.

BJA’s general secretary, Sonam Dorji acknowledged the participants efforts and said that the tournament was of high standard, which saw seasoned participants from different Asian countries. “Our judokas performance was as expected. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement,” he said. “Undoubtedly this experience would benefit our kids in future in judo and in their life. It was a learning experience.”

A total of 150 judokas from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Bhutan took part in the tournament.

The organizer Gerard Lim said it was an opportunity for young Judo aficionados from different countries to learn from each other about Judo and other aspects of life and to spread happiness.

He said he found the Bhutanese judoka ‘very strong, well trained and well mannered”.

Malaysian team manager Jeyanthi Annamalai whose team has been participating in the tournament since 2011, said the Bhutanese judokas were strong, technically sharp and confident” and expressed her interest to bring her team to Bhutan in the future.

The team arrives in the country today.

By Younten Tshedup