Thinley Namgay 

In a match that took two and a half days to complete, Team Namcha Nyinzer defeated Team Kanglung in the finals of the Druk Wangyal National Archery Tournament yesterday.

Played at the Changlimithang archery range, Kanglung lost to Namcha Nyinzer after winning the first set on Sunday.

The deciding set began after lunch on December 27, where Kanglung headed the set 15-6 in the game of 25 points and had a better chance to lift the title.  However, Kanglung could only add three points yesterday.

Namcha Nyinzer defeated team Kanglung with 25-18 points.

Organised by the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA), the tournament was started in 2004.

Twenty-seven teams took part in the tournament that began on November 11. Teams were allowed to recruit two seeded players in the team. In 2020, 39 teams participated.

A player from team Namcha Nyinzer said that most of the players from their team had previously played in the tournament. “As a team, it was our first appearance in the tournament.”

Their players were from Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha.

Namcha Nyinzer defeated Semthuen Charo in two straight sets in the semifinals.

Team captain of Namcha Nyinzer, Karma Wangchuk, said that the two-time champion, Buddhist Art was in their pool and had good players. “However, Team Gomdar Gewog knocked out Buddhist Art.”

He said that BIGSA could make the traditional archery tournament more popular and exciting like other games by being more active on social media platforms. “It would be better if the technical team at BIGSA could share the competition updates daily on their Facebook page.”

He also said that the archery range in Changlimithang had become dry, and there was a chance of a mishap if there were an accident. “The wall behind the range has to be upgraded for safety reasons.”

The focal person of Team Kanglung, Tshering Phuntsho, said although the team’s name is Kanglung, only six players are from Kanglung, out of the 13 players.

He said the other team members were from Bidung, Mongar, and Wamrong.

Tshering Phuntsho said that one of the competent teams in Pool B was DGPC. “We won only in a deciding match against DGPC.”

He said that a few years ago, Team Kanglung stood second in the debut participation in the tournament. “My team had an opportunity to win this year, but most of the players were young, and we lacked confidence in the final.”

Meanwhile, both the winner and runners-up were given a winning trophy and Buddha statue as an individual prize.

Out of consideration for the Covid-19 pandemic, the games were conducted behind closed doors. Teams paid an entry fee of Nu 10,000 each.