Thinley Namgay

Bhutan’s aspiration for a medal at the ongoing Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Under-22 and Youth Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan faded as all three participants were eliminated from the tournament. 

The tournament was Bhutanese boxers’ international debut. They were selected based on their performances during a training camp and a friendly competition held in Bangladesh in March. 

Officials said the boxers tried their best despite limited experience. 

Officials said that such a major tournament provided a platform for the participants to learn new skills, gain exposure, and confidence.

It’s widely believed that without adequate international training and exposure to competitive games, athletes are unlikely to perform well on the international stage. 

In the quarterfinals on May 2, Kinley Phuntsho faced off against Mendengbam Jadumani Singh of India in the 57-kg category and was defeated. Kinley Phuntsaho advanced to the quarterfinals by default. Despite his boxing skills, Mendengbam fought hard for the win.

In the 48kg category, Migma Dorji, 22, defeated the seasoned opponent, Mekhrojiddin Barotov from Tajikistan on April 28. However, he couldn’t make it to the next round on April 30 as he lost against Karap Yernar from Kazakhstan in a highly competitive match.

On April 27, Dechen Dorji lost against Khavantsev Alexey from Kazakhstan in the 60kg category. 

Dechen Dorji, the country’s top boxer, suffered a defeat in the very first round of the tournament. His opponent, Khavantsev Alexey, is a renowned boxer from Kazakhstan, boasting numerous international medals.

The tournament began on April 27 and will end on May 7. A total of 397 boxers from 25 nations are competing.

The three boxers and two officials will arrive in the country on May 8.