Thinley Namgay  

Judoka Yeshay Nidup, 16, couldn’t proceed to the next round in the -60kg category at the Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championship in Thailand.

On July 18, Yeshay Nidup from Mongar lost to Apiluk Thipkal of Thailand by Waza-ari (half point).

Unlike many Judokas, Yeshay Nidup fought his opponent till the completion of four minutes.

In Judo, Waza-ari gets the win at the end of a four-minute play unlike ippon (knockout), where the game ends immediately.

According to officials, Yeshay was affected by the big stage as it was his first major international appearance.

Yeshay Nidup, a class IX student of Pelkhil School in Thimphu said that although he could not win, he is glad about his performance in the tournament. “I am very happy that I took part in this tournament. Some of the players were losing within a minute. I played my match till the end.”

He said he tried his best to keep Bhutan on top, but he was nervous and lost confidence.

“I was not able to play as usual.”

Meanwhile 181 judokas from 16 countries contested in the two-day tournament that began on July 18.

Bhutan Judo Association’s (BJA) president, Karma L Dorji said it was good to know from our coach that Yeshay’s judo was actually better than his opponent’s and he was also physically stronger.

He said many competent participants from countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, South Korea and Mongolia participated in the tournament.

“We are all aware of the lack of tournament experience.  BJA is working on taking part in more tournaments and also organising more events,” he said, adding that Bhutanese judokas now look more muscular than before as the BJA had invested in gym facilities.

Yeshay Nidup was accompanied by Coach Yusuke Utashiro. They arrived in the country yesterday.