SAG: With only one game remaining in the men’s shooting, Bhutanese athletes at the on going 12th South Asian Games (SAG) in Guwahati failed to win a single medal at the competition.

The 12th SA Games this year is hosted by two sister states of the host country India, in Guwahati (Assam) and Shillong (Meghalaya). Of the 10 disciplines Bhutan is taking part in five games in each city.

Men’s football (under-19), athletics, shooting, tennis and women’s basketball were scheduled in Guwahati while archery, badminton, boxing, judo and taekwondo in Shillong. In Guwahati, Bhutan failed to register a single win. The men’s shooting which will be played later in the afternoon today is the only hope to win a medal at Guwahati.

The football team suffered two consecutive defeats in the hands of Nepal and Bangladesh. The probability of the team qualifying into the semi-finals suffered a setback after suffering a crushing 5-0 defeat in the hands of the Gorkhali Boys on February 7. In what was seen as a decent comeback against Bangladesh, which was a must win game for the Dragon Boys, the team could only draw.

The chances of qualifying into the next round depended on the game between Nepal and Bangladesh. In a 2-1 thriller, Bangladesh triumphed over the Gorkhali Boys raising the hope of the Dragon Boys in the competition.

In athletics, Bhutan came last in the men’s 100 and 800 meters race. In tennis, Bhutan lost the men’s singles, men’s double and mixed doubles in straight sets. Lack of experience was evident in the crushing defeat Bhutan suffered in the hands of the neighbours.

The women’s basketball team were in for a surprise when they heard that the tournament was cancelled following Federation International Basketball Association’s decision to cancel the event on the ground of interference from the government and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Games Chief Executive Officer and Sports Authority of India Director General, Injeti Srinivas, said that a solution could not be reached to end the deadlock and it was decided to scrap the discipline.

However, the team and officials organized a few friendly matches among the teams who were already in Guwahati for the tournament. The national team played their first friendlies against Assam Railway team on February 10 and lost 40-49.

This is the first national women’s basketball team taking part in an international competition.

Meanwhile, archers in Shillong are currently the only team that managed to win medals in the competition. The team managed one silver and four bronze medals.

The Bhutanese boxers and taekwondo players are also expected to bring home a few medals at the end of the competition. Boxing and taekwondo along with judo are scheduled in the last three days of the competition.

Younten Tshedup