Martial arts: Tandin Wangchuk, a class XII student, was declared the winner of the Spring Judo tournament organised by the Bhutan Judo Association, yesterday.

He won all five bouts by ‘ippon’ or knockout, in the open men’s category.

Phub Dem, a class X student of Pelkhil School won the women’s category.

In the boy’s category, Tashi Wangchuk, a class X student of Babesa middle secondary school came out on top.

In the mixed category the winner was Rohan Moktan of class VII from Chang Rigphel lower secondary school.

Seven of the participants have just returned from training in Japan and the standard of judo has improved, according to the judo association’s president Karma L Dorji.

The association fielded a team at the South Asian Games in February where Ngawang Namgyel achieved Bhutan’s first victory in judo at an international tournament. Following that, Kinley Tshering (XI) recorded another win at the Jita Kyoei Judo Cup in Kobe, Japan, against a Japanese blackbelt judoka.

The association’s general secretary Sonam Dorji said the experience at the South Asian Games 2016 was educational and it was clear that a judo medal for Bhutan is achievable at the next games in 2018.

Judo is steadily growing in popularity in Thimphu. There is one judo dojo at Pelkhil school and another dojo will soon be opened in the city.

A total of 20 judokas participated in the tournament including three soldiers from the Military Training Centre at Tencholing. The association organises at least two annual tournaments to rank and select judokas for international tournaments. The participants were trained by coach Yoshihiro Horiuchi and assisted by visiting coach Hanako Wada.

Eight judokas will participate in the CWCN International Judo Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal, next month. In July, three judokas will represent Bhutan at the Children of Asia Games in Yakultia, Russia.

Staff reporter