Thinley Namgay

With the highly-anticipated Asian Games (AG) in China just around the corner, the Bhutan Amateur Athletic Federation (BAAF) is preparing to showcase its budding talents on the international stage.

Among the promising athletes representing Bhutan are 24-year-old Tshering Penjor from Paro and 26-year-old Goma Pradhan from Dagana, who have been relentlessly honing their skills in preparation for their AG debut.

Tshering Penjor, a seasoned athlete with a decade of experience under his belt, has been undergoing intensive training and studying in Japan since 2018, participating in numerous competitions to further enhance his abilities. His journey with BAAF started back in 2014, and now, with the AG in sight, he is set to compete in both the 200 metres (m) and 400m races.

Tshering Penjor

Having already featured in two major international competitions, Tshering Penjor recently participated in the men’s 200m event at the Asian Athletics Championship

2023 in Thailand, finishing with an impressive time of 22.83 seconds (secs). 

Tshering Penjor’s  goal is to reach the semifinals in the 200m race while pushing himself to break his own 400m record. With a personal best of 22.51secs  in the

200m and 50.04 secs in the 400m, Tshering Penjor seeks to set a new benchmark and use it as a foundation for further improvement.

“I will be meeting the same pool of athletes from the Asian Athletics Championship 2023 in the 200m. I am confident that I can close the gap with the other athletes,” Tshering Penjor said, brimming with determination and self-assurance. 

His rigorous training is under the watchful eye of Coach Akizawa Kazuki in Japan, who has been instrumental in fine-tuning his athletic prowess.

In parallel, Goma Pradhan, a celebrated national female runner, has been relentlessly preparing for the 5,000m race at the AG. Goma Pradhan, who has won around 50 medals at the national level since 2013, trains at BAAF’s  ground in Thimphu under the expert guidance of Coach Kinzang Dorji.

Her athletic journey began five years ago, but it was only last month that she intensified her practice, gearing up for the crucial time trial set by the Bhutan Olympic Committee at the end of this month.

Goma Pradhan’s benchmark for the 5,000m race stands at an impressive 17 minutes and 24secs, a record she set during the 2019 South Asian Games in

Nepal. To secure her spot in the AG, she must match or surpass this timing during the upcoming time trial.

Despite the challenge, Goma Pradhan remains optimistic and unwavering in her commitment to giving her best. “Training is tough but I have been giving my best and staying positive and hopeful,” shared the determined athlete.

For Goma Pradhan, the AG presents a proud moment to represent her country on the international stage.