Taekwondo: The 12th National Dzongkhag Taekwondo Championship that began on December 30 at the Swimming Pool Complex for the first time made used of electronic-headgear (e-headgear).

E-headgear detects foot techniques to validate score in the areas near the headgear. In order to score a point, individuals need to kick hard and accurately. The score is instantly reflected on a screen connected with the gear.

Bhutan Taekwondo Federation’s (BTF) assistant programme officer, Sonam Tshewang, said that the electronic point scoring system (EPSS) was found necessary in order to deliver a fair judgment during big tournaments.

“Before this system was put in place, scoring used to be done manually and sometimes the results were biased,” he said. “With this system in place, we can reduce partialities while making some crucial decisions.”

BTF first introduced the electronic system in 2010 with an e-chest-guard.

Meanwhile, in the finals yesterday, Thimphu dzongkhag’s taekwondo association bagged the first position in the championship. The association won five gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

Mongar dzongkhag’s taekwondo association came second with three gold, five silver and six bronze, followed by Sarpang taekwondo association with three gold, one silver and one bronze.

Dechen Yangden, a participant from Phuntsholing Higher Secondary School, said that taekwondo is her first priority and that she enjoys the game. “It keeps us physically fit and it is useful for self-defense,” the 14-year-old said. “The tournament was a success as I could reach the finals. I hope to win the tournament.”

A total of 13 dzongkhag taekwondo associations took part in the two-day tournament. 176 participants – 93 boys and 79 girls – took part in the tournament.

Sonam Tshewang said that the tournament was held also to select players for the 12th South Asian Games (SAF) in Guwahati and Shilong in February. “The winners of this tournament will compete against our current national players to qualify for the SAF games.”

Younten Tshedup