Thinley Namgay

Had it not been for the live telecast, team Radhi gewog players would have gone home with the Druk Wangyel National Traditional Archery tournament trophy on January 12.

Radhi won the first set 25- 24 on January 11 and was leading the second set 12-10 at the end of the day. The next morning, Radhi gewog needed only three points to win the trophy whereas opponents Buddhist Arts had only 14.

Spectators started cheering for team Radhi as they were on the verge of claiming the title with just short of three points.

But everything changed when the police arrived. Radhi had a shocking incident during the deciding match on January 12 as one of the players was arrested by the police.

Kuensel learnt that the archer owed money to someone who had seen him on television playing archery. There was an arrest warrant issued in his name and the police were informed. The archer was sent to Gelephu court yesterday.

The archer was one of the main players for team Radhi.

His removal also cost the team five precious points. The score became 17-14. Buddhist Arts  won the second set 25-17 before lunch.

Radhi fought back in the deciding set, but could not recover its capability and Buddhist Arts won the set with 25- 23 in a highly contested match.

Radhi’s team captain, Yonten, said, “He was arrested by the RBP around 9:30 am and we were discouraged by the incident. He is the main player as he shot seven karey (hits on target) on the first day and a karey before his arrest.”

Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA) rules say five points would be deducted if players discontinue in the middle of the game.

BIGSA’s Coordinator, Tshewang Namgay said that the rules were framed after the request from the team captains during the pre-match meeting.

Buddhist Arts sponsor, Kinzang Chojay said the two teams had celebrated the victory together. “Both the teams came together for a dance after the match at the archery range.  Moreover, we also had dinner together.”

The annual traditional archery tournament that began on November 25 saw a total of 39 teams from across the country.