Thinley Namgay 

In a display of competitive prowess, Bhutan’s compound archers showcased their skills at the ongoing Asia Cup Stage 3 in Singapore, although four of them were eliminated in the quarterfinals yesterday.

In a thrilling match, Bhutan emerged victorious against Indonesia by a narrow margin of three points. The team scored an impressive 230 points, while their opponents secured 227.

Having secured their spot in the quarterfinals, Bhutan faced a formidable opponent in India, the world’s third-ranked country. Despite their best efforts, Bhutan fell short by 12 points, with India scoring 237 points compared to Bhutan’s 225.

In the individual elimination round, archer Tashi Peljor gave a commendable performance, narrowly losing to Modh Mazuki of Malaysia by a single point, with the final score of 115-116 on June 7.

Prior to that, Tashi defeated Nitiphum Chatachot from Thailand with a score of 147-143 in the first round. In the subsequent rounds, Tashi secured victories against Milad Rashidi from Iran (145-143) and Uthaimongkol Kittiphat from Thailand (147-144).

Reflecting on the team’s performance, Khendrup, one of the archers, expressed his satisfaction with the experience gained despite the loss. He emphasised the importance of learning valuable lessons, such as handling pressure in challenging weather conditions, which were hot and humid during the tournament.

“These games provide us with valuable insights on how to prepare for the upcoming Asian Games,” Khendrup said. He added that federations should prioritise sending athletes to international tournaments for better exposure.

Among the four compound archers representing Bhutan, three had previous international exposure.

In the recurve category, Bhutan’s archers are set to compete in the mixed-team match today. For Phuntsho Norbu, a recurve archer, this tournament is his first international appearance. 

“Everything is systematic. I will give my best,” he said.

Bhutan’s participation in the championship serves as preparation for the upcoming Asian Games in China, with the tournament scheduled to conclude on June 10.