Thinley Namgay

For five years the Bhutan Karate Association had not brought a gold medal for the country.

The last time Bhutan bagged gold in karate was at the 2017 South Asian Karate Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

However, Jamsel Yeshay Wangyel, a Class X student of Changangkha Middle Secondary in Thimphu recently won gold in the under-67kg junior kumite category at the sixth BG Karate Championship held in Bangladesh.

Jamsel is from Chukha. He faced Karateka from  Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where he won 3-0 and 4-2 points, respectively.

It was his first international appearance.

Jamsel said: “ Winning a gold medal is a proud moment in my life and the country. I worked hard for it. My parents are also proud of me.”

“I will continue Karate,” he said, adding that the tournament in Bangladesh gave him vital exposure.

Jamsel, who began his Karate journey two years back, follows a tight schedule every day. “I wake up at 6am and jog for an hour. After that, I prepare for school.”

After school, Jamsel goes home and then to his usual karate training at Changlimithang sports complex which starts at 5pm. He practices for two hours.

Sensei Tshering Dorji and Senpai Kunzang Choda train Jamsel.

Jamsel got into  Karate through his interest. “I used to watch many karate videos and I liked it. I understood that hard work and mental discipline are crucial.”

As a young Karateka, he said one of the challenges is inadequate training time; there is also a lack of good training facilities.

Jamsel said Karate is all about self-defence, mental discipline, and good physical health.