Thinley Namgay 

Bhutanese judokas are undergoing intensive training in Thimphu for the 2023 Necos Junior Judo Tournament in Nepal which begins next month.

It has been almost a month the 13 players, below the age of 18, were training and contesting in practice matches. The judokas are also being familiarised with the international tournament rules and mat etiquette.

Judokas were selected based on the performances at the winter judo tournament conducted last month and the winter judo camp in December.

The participants are all from Thimphu as judo activities are yet to start in other dzongkhags.  Three national coaches and two Japanese senseis (tutors) are guiding the players.

Coach Ngawang Namgyel said that the upcoming tournament would be new for many children. “Some  of them will be participating in the international tournament after four years.”

“Participants are showing interest and improving,” he said. “It is an opportunity for them to showcase their talent and gain exposure.”

He said that the new dojo at Pelkhil school was big and comfortable for training and that the facilities have improved compared to the past.

Ngawang Namgyel said that Bhutanese judokas have featured well in international competitions so far and also got some bronze medals. He said that the current squad for the competition is talented and they are expecting to win medals.

The training will be rescheduled and held in the evening from today as students start their school.

Bhutan’s last international appearance was in 2022 Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championship in Thailand in July.