Thinley Namgay 

Tashi Wangdi defeated Tashi Yoezer in the 52kg elite men’s category of the Druk Thimphu Boxing Championship finals at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu yesterday.

Bhutan Boxing Federation’s Tashi Wangdi who is a four-time international medalist, won all three rounds yesterday.  The 25-year-old said that he could play only two matches as there were only four participants in his category.

He attributed his victory to his dedicated and regular practice. Tashi has been boxing for the past 14 years. “I am delighted. I didn’t face much difficulty in this competition. Such competition helps us gain more confidence. I will keep working hard.”

In the 60kg elite men’s category, Nima Dorji, 25, from Bhutan Boxing Federation defeated a much senior boxer, Sigyel Phub.

Nima Dorji said that he carefully studied his opponent before the fight. “Sigyel attacks directly, which is why I focused on a side-by-side play. I will now prepare for the international championship in China and Pakistan next year.”

In the 60kg youth men’s category, Sangay Thinley defeated Kinley 30-27. In the 69kg elite men’s category, Dorji Wangdi defeated Kinley Chimi Namgay 30-26.

Nima Dorji said that more youth should take up boxing and parents should support their children. “Young boxers will perform better internationally if they are trained well. Our coaches need to engage in advanced training.”

The two-day tournament saw 40 participants from Thimphu of which some 30 were students between 15 to 19 years. There were six women participants.

The second edition championship organised by Thimphu Boxing Club featured 10 matches during the finals yesterday. The first edition was held in 2018.

Organiser Sigyel Phub from the Thimphu Boxing Club said that boxing has gained popularity in the country since its introduction in 1984. “Boxing is one of the platforms to curb youth unemployment in the country.”

However, he said that a major challenge was organising such tournaments given the limited sponsorship and manpower at the club.

The gold medalists were awarded a cash prize of Nu 10,000. Silver and bronze medalists were awarded Nu 7,000 and Nu 4,000, respectively.

Edited by Tshering Palden