Thinley Namgay

Team Ratna won the 13th coronation national archery tournament yesterday at Changlimithang archery range defeating team Laya in two straight sets.

The tournament which commenced in 2008 as an annual event to commemorate the coronation of His Majesty the King is one of the most prestigious archery tournaments in the country organised by the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA).

The last coronation tournament was organised in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the 2020 and 2021 tournaments as sporting activities were halted.

In the best-of-three game, Ratna won 25-5 on October 22.  Laya returned stronger in the second set yesterday. However, they lost 25-24. From Pool A, Ratna won all four games including the final.

This year, 21 teams from different dzongkhags participated in the tournament which began on September 26. The knockout format games were held in Dangrina and Kuenselphodrang archery ranges until the semifinals.

Each team paid an entry fee of Nu 15,000 to BIGSA. Champions Ratna received a championship trophy along with a 12-inch statue of Buddha for each of its 13 players. The runners-up were also awarded a 7-inch Buddha statue.

Ratna’s captain Ugyen Dorji said the team was fortunate to receive an award for two important archery championships after its inception in 2019. “My players are extremely happy and grateful for the opportunity.”

Ratna comprises players mostly from Paro and Thimphu.

In 2019, Ratna won the Coronation Silver Jubilee National Archery tournament defeating team Rigzhung Nyamro. Ugyen Dorji said the team will participate in the next coronation tournament with even better preparation.

One of the BIGSA officials said the players were competing in different tournaments at the same time and there was a clash of fixtures.  An official also said that getting a proper venue for the tournament was challenging as some venues have two parallel archery ranges and using both was risky.