Men’s individual recurve archery qualification round begins on August 27

Thinley Namgay 

Bhutan will begin its competition at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games on August 27. A 34-year-old para-archer, Pema Rigsel, will participate in the men’s individual recurve archery qualification round at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field.  

The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games is the maiden participation for the Bhutanese para-athletes in the popular international event since the inception of the Bhutan Paralympic committee in 2017.  

Pema Rigsel will compete in the 70m archery range. Around 140 archers will take part in the nine archery events.  

In the recurve individual archery, archers shoot six arrows for one round. For one set, archers have to shoot for six rounds, and each arrow carries 10 points which accounts for 360 points in a set. 

Pema Rigsel

For a game, archers will have to complete two sets which are out of 720 points. Each round is given four minutes.

On August 29 and September 4, para-athletes Gyeltshen and Chimi Dema will take part in the men’s F40, and women’s F40 shot put event, respectively, at the Olympic Stadium.  

There is no qualification round for shot put.   

Para Athletics Coach, Penjore Gyeltshen, said the participants have been undergoing pre-games training at SEISA Hakone Campus since August 11 to get acclimatised with hot weather.

He said that the athletes would practice at SEISA Hakone Campus till August 19. “Strict Covid-19 protocol is in place. So far, all our athletes are doing well.”

The team of three athletes and two officials arrived in Japan on August 10.

Besides training, team Bhutan also had a press conference with the local media, where athletes and coaches shared the goals for the Paralympic Games.

In an interview with Kanagawa TV, Gyeltshen said that the team would try their best and make history. 

The team also met with the Mayors of the towns and Miyazawa, Chairman of SEISA Group, who hosted the Bhutanese team for the pre-games training.

The theme of the 16th edition games is “united by emotion”. Around 4,400 para-athletes worldwide are expected to feature in 22 sports, covering  540 events at 19 venues. 

The 2020 Paralympic Games will see the introduction of badminton and taekwondo to the Paralympic programme, replacing sailing and 7-a- side football.  

Chimi Dema, 28, said that she would give her best. “I want to perform better than the previous competitions. I feel like I am in Bhutan at present.  Organisers treat us well.” 

The opening ceremony will be held on August 24. Emperor Naruhito is expected to grace the event.  

Penjore Gyeltshen said that the Bhutan Paralympic committee was one of the youngest National Paralympic Committees globally, and the Tokyo Paralympic participation would be historic.

“I want our athletes to give their best and experience the games at all levels of competition,” he said, adding that the games are scheduled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and athletes have greater responsibility and challenges to face.   

The International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Government of Japan held a meeting yesterday to discuss a policy for spectator numbers at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The joint statement states: “In light of the current emergency declaration issued for Tokyo, Saitama and Chiba Prefectures, another declaration of the state of emergency being requested by Shizuoka prefecture and the current infection situation broadly, more stringent measures will be taken for competitions to be held in these prefectures, including having no spectators.”

Regarding road events, the organisers request the general public to refrain from coming to the roadsides to watch the competitions.  

“We sincerely apologise to all ticket buyers who were looking forward to watching the games at the venues. We hope that you understand that these measures are unavoidable and being implemented in order to prevent the spread of infection. Everyone is encouraged to watch the games at home,” the joint statement stated.  

The games will end on September 5.  

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk