Thinley Namgay

An archer, Karma, has now secured the minimum qualifying score (MQS) to represent Bhutan in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in July as a full-fledged participant.

She fulfilled the requirement by obtaining 627 points in the day-long national MQS competition organised by Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) as mandated by the World Archery Federation on May 15.

The MQS requirement of the World Archery Federation is 605 points to take part in the Olympics. Karma exceeded the requisite.

Karma said that to achieve the MQS, she had actively involved in archery competitions and regular practice since 2019. “I was not feeling well that day, but the result came as I expected. More than the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, I was worried about the MQS, which was the prerequisite.”

“I will give my best in the Olympics,” she said.

BAF’s head coach, who is a Korean Olympian, Park Young Sook, was the judge.

Karma said that Park Young Sook was an internationally recognised coach and possessed a certificate to organise the event.

Meanwhile, Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) had planned to send archer Sonam Dema to Tokyo if Karma fails to secure the MQS, as she already secured the MQS. However, Karma is the first Bhutanese to bag the Olympic quota and priority was given to Karma.

The 30-year-old archer from Trashiyangtse booked a spot in the recurve women’s archery for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics during the Asian continental qualification tournament in Bangkok in 2019.

Karma was supposed to go to Switzerland on May 10 for the MQS, but due to the Covid-19 situation in India and the quarantine requirement, BAF requested the World Archery Federation to conduct the event for the MQS here in Bhutan.

“We are planning to go to Japan by the second week of June,” Karma said.

Along with her, other archers from the BAF also took part in the event. Para archer Pema Rigsel also secured the MQS of 575. He grabbed 601 points. It is, however, not sure whether Pema Rigsel will participate in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, as he had not secured the spot for the Paralympic. His participation would be based on the wild card entry.

BOC had applied the wild card entry for two additional archers, a judoka and a shooter but International Olympic Committee will inform the BOC next month depending on the availability of the seat.

One of the two men practising swimming in Thailand, Kinley Lhendup and Sangay Tenzin, would take part in the Olympics. They did not yet compete for an event that would decide their fate for the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee is providing wild card opportunity for the countries to maintain better representation.