Thinley Namgay

The Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) plans to send athletes from archery, swimming, shooting and judo for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic in July.

Only a female archer and a male swimmer have been confirmed so far.

Archer Karma, who won the Tokyo Olympic quota, is yet to secure a minimum qualifying score (MQS) of 615 points.  To maintain MQS, she will go to Switzerland to participate in the archery championship from May 17 to 24.

Karma was supposed to participate in the archery championship in Bangkok, Thailand, but the competition got cancelled due to the pandemic. Karma also couldn’t participate in the archery championship in China.

BOC’s programme officer, Jamyang Namgyal, said that if Karma can’t acquire MQS in Switzerland, BOC would send archer Sonam Dema to Tokyo Olympic, who already obtained MQS during South Asian Games in Nepal with more than 620 points.

“BOC is giving priority to Karma as she is the first Bhutanese to book the Olympic quota. We are keeping track of her performance,” Jamyang Namgyal said.

In the field of swimming, either Kinley Lhendup and Sangay Tenzin will be selected. Both of them are currently training in Thailand, supported by FINA, World Swimming Federation.

Kinley Lhendup and Sangay Tenzin have been practising in Thailand for the last two and half years.

“Their performance is good so far. In May, there is a competition at Bangkok.  From that performance, the best will be selected,” said Jamyang Namgyal.

Both the swimmers had participated in the 18th FINA World Championship held in South Korea in 2019.

“To take athletes through wild card entry, BOC applied for another two additional archers, a judoka, and shooter,” said Jamyang Namgyal.

Regarding additional athletes, International Olympic Committee (IOC) will confirm in June.

BOC plans to send the athletes three weeks before the opening ceremony on July 23 for pre-game training.

“BOC choose about 10-12 athletes who are Olympic scholarship recipients. So, we can only apply wild card entry for them,” said Jamyang Namgyal.

Bhutan has been participating in the Olympics since 1984 through invitations and wild card entry from the IOC.

Opportunities have been so far given only to  archers and shooters from Bhutan.

More than 10,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees will compete at the Tokyo Olympics.