Thinley Namgay   

Tandin Dorji, 36, from Paro won the Bhutan Grand Prix, the first-ever international-style compound archery tournament that concluded yesterday at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.

The credit head of Bhutan Insurance Limited maintained the first rank throughout the tournament.

In the final game yesterday, Tandin Dorji defeated Rinchen Namgay, 33, from Trongsa by acquiring 144 points in five rounds. Rinchen Namgay could maintain 134 points.

Archers shoot three arrows each for five rounds in the final, semifinal and the quarter-final in the 50 metres archery range. Archers were allowed to use accessories such as sights and triggers.

Tandin Dorji defeated Tshewang Dorji by five points (141-137) in the semifinal to grab the final playoff. Rinchen Namgay won against Khendrup in the semifinal by three points (141-138).

Tandin Dorji was awarded a cash prize of Nu 100,000 and a trophy. Rinchen Namgay was awarded Nu 80,000.

Tandin Dorji said he didn’t get much time to practice for the tournament.

He said that in the normal compound archery range, archers  used to hit the target even with less accuracy. “In the international style compound archery game, we have to be very accurate and physically and mentally strong.”

Tandin Dorji said it is not effective to involve in the tournament  after practising for one to two months.” In other countries, they have archery clubs and only the winner from the club usually participates in the tournament.”

He said one major hurdle for archery development in Bhutan is that there is no consistency in archers regarding practice.

Tandin Dorji is a reputed archer.

He is the silver medalist in the 13th South Asian Games in 2019 in the individual and team compound archery category.  Moreover, he is a two-time winner of the ISPS Handa Cup in Japan in 2017 and 2019.

Rinchen Namgay has no international experience and had only one month of practice with the use of accessories. He works in Yangphel Archery.

Meanwhile, Tshewang Dorji, 40, from Haa bagged the third position after defeating Khendup, 34, from Punakha. Tshewang Dorji got 141 points and Khendup got 139 points.

Tshewang Dorji was awarded Nu 60,000.

Both Tshewang Dorji and Khendup are silver medalists in the compound archery team game during the 12th South Asian Games in 2016 in India.

The Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) has selected the top eight archers from the tournament. They will undergo training in Thimphu and four of them will be selected to represent Bhutan in the upcoming Asian Games in the compound archery category.

In the elimination round on June 11, archers shot 45 arrows each, where 18 out of 22 archers were eliminated.

The BAF, in collaboration with the Bhutan Olympic Committee and Woezer Events conducted the tournament.