Thinley Namgay

Tandin Dorji, 37, from Paro secured a silver medal for the country yesterday at the second edition of the Bhutan Grand Prix held at the Langjophakha Archery Range in Thimphu.

Tandin was the lone  Bhutanese to receive a medal. In the final, he lost 139-143 to Pendyala Chowdary of India in a highly contested match.

Tandin Dorji, who is also a gold medalist from the first Grand Prix in 2022, said, “I am happy to receive the medal. I want to thank the Bhutan Olympic Committee and Bhutan Archery Federation for the opportunity.”

Tandin mentioned that Bhutanese archers couldn’t perform as well as expected. He cited the limited training that the archers received for the competition. “We trained for around two months. In a day, we used to train for around two hours.”

He said Bhutan had a long way to go before competing against international players. “After any competition, it is crucial to keep the archers in the loop with continuous training and engagement instead of letting them stay idle.”

Thirty compound archers from Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh competed in this two-day event, including 12 women. Unlike in the first edition, international archers were allowed this time to give Bhutanese players game exposure and help them learn new skills.

The number of participants increased by eight this year. Archers and officials said that international participants were all top-notch archers and learned a lot.

Most of the medals were acquired by Indian archers. In the men’s bronze, India’s Chirag Vidyarthi won against Bangladesh’s MD Sonel Rana 148-141.

Srishti Singh of India won against Bonna Akhter of Bangladesh 146-145 in the women’s final.

The distance of the archery range was 50 metres.

While competing for the women’s bronze, Bhutan’s Dorji Dolma was defeated by India’s Saloni Kirar 142-140.

Bhutan Archery Federation’s coach, Tashi Tshering, said that the top eight Bhutanese archers were selected and the federation would further train them to select four to feature in international tournaments.

The top four players are expected to compete in Bangkok’s Asia Cup stage two later this year in November.

In the Grand Prix, archers use accessories such as sights and triggers.

Bhutanese participants said that not many Bhutanese were familiar with sights and triggers, which hampered the quality of players in such a major competition.

Archers said that it would benefit players if the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association could reintroduce the use of sights and triggers in the tournaments.