A basketball coach wins the strongwoman title

Coinciding with the National Day celebrations, the Bhutan Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation (BBWF) organised a weight lifting competition at the Clock Tower Square in Thimphu.

Five women and 18 men flexed their muscles to compete for the national title of the strong man and woman championship. Office goers, weightlifters, bodybuilders,  armed force personnel, fitness trainees and nyagoes took part in the competition.

Tshewang Dema

Tshewang Dema

The federation’s President Sonam Tobgay Dorji said the event is aimed to encourage youth to take up the sport. “The competition is held to promote health and fitness and to help youth get an international platform in future.”

An athlete was tested in four different sets of deadlifts, bench press, back squats, and farmer’s walk.

Thinley Dorji, a gold medalist of the world bodybuilding championship won the title of Bhutan’s strongman while Tshewang Dema, a coach at Bhutan Basketball Federation won the strongwoman’s title. The strongman won a trophy and a cash prize of Nu 30,000. The strongwoman also took home a trophy and a cash prize of Nu 15,000.

Tshewang Dema said she is excited about the win. “I did not expect to win as I took part for the first time. But it was a positive mind and the support of my colleagues that gave me the title.”

Thinley Dorji said the competition would give fitness enthusiasts a platform to showcase their talents. “One should take bodybuilding as a lifestyle to live a healthy life. We should take up the sport not to be a bodybuilder, but to stay fit.”

Works and Human Settlement minister Dorji Choden said the sport has the potential to promote gender equality as the sport is played equally by men and women.” I have seen the strongmen championship involving women today.”

Meanwhile, Gyem Tshering from Dagana, who stood eight in the traditional Nyagoe competition, could not exhibit his strength in the strongman competition. He completed 29 repetitions of 120kg weights in back squats, while he could hardly complete a repetition in the bench press. The set required an athlete to push 100kg weight upward against the chest.

He said the competition needs a good training. “I was in the gym a day ahead of the competition for practice,” he said. “Both strongman competitions, traditional and modern are equally tough but the traditional competition has more weight and distance.”



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