Tshering Dorji positions to lift 69kg loaded barbell with weight plates above the head in one furious motion. The 33-year-old tightens his hold on the loaded bar. In a few minutes, he is holding the 69kg loaded barbell in the air with his nerves and muscles almost exploding.

One can see the nerves on his forehead when he is holding the 69kgs in the air. He then brings down the bar on the floor. The lift is the highest record of weightlifting among other nine athletes who are into weightlifting coaching these days.

Tshering Dorji also has the highest record in the clean and jerk lift, the other way of testing the lift of athletes. His colleagues are into serious practise to compete with him. In the clean and jerk lifts Tshering Dorji has the highest lift with 90kgs.

Tshering Dorji said that weightlifting was new and strange in the beginning. “I love to practice the lift whole day now. The sport is unique and interesting,” he said.

“We began the lift with 10kgs lift and within six months I am able to head to 90kgs. I am working hard to build my strength and techniques. By next year I am confident that I will be able to increase my lift to 120kgs,” said Tshering Dorji.

Come 2018, Bhutan will have competent weightlifters to represent the country in regional and international Olympic weight lifting competitions.

Tshering Dorji is among the 10 senior weightlifters that Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) has been training with 15 more in junior category since January this year, making it the latest Olympic sport to be introduced in the country.

Sonam Dhendup who had been in bodybuilding for 13 years was certified as weightlifting coach by  the International Weightlifting Federation after a training in Malaysia last year.

“I always dreamt of promoting Olympic sports in the country. I’m confident that the sport will be popular in our country within two years,” said the coach.

The coach said that weightlifting in the rest of the world began around 12 years ago. “They have the lift records more than 120kg. I am confident that we will reach that level by next year as the lifters are improving daily,” he said.

“Looking at the height and physique of our tribe I am confident that the sport is perfect for our people with most of us having shorter arms, legs, and spine,” said the coach.

The introduction of Olympic weightlifting is aimed at promoting Olympic sports in the country.

The sport measures the strength, speed, agility, and coordination of an individual. The sport of weightlifting requires a perfect coordination of strength, agility, and speed. The goal of weightlifting is to get the highest weight from the ground to above the head.

Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) and International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) approved the federations’ membership in July this year. The affiliation with AWF and IWF is expected to help the lifters gain the opportunity to participate in the regional and international championships.

The federation will conduct open weightlifting championship to select the best weightlifters to represent the country in regional and international weightlifting championships.

Olympic weightlifting was developed as an international sport around 19th century and it’s popular in Europe and Asia.