The first open 10-metre under-18 air rifle championship held in Thimphu saw over 25 participants.

Participants as young as nine-year-old Namgya Tshering Seldon and eleven-year-old Tshering Tashi Lhamo took part in the championship.

Tshering Tashi Lhamo entered final to compete against seven other girls for the championship.

National coach for the Bhutan Shooting Federation (BSF), Dorji Phurba, said that before the competition basic coaching classes were conducted from January 21 to January 25. “We also had two weeks winter coaching for air rifle shooting from January 1 until 14th. We hope this would continue as an annual programme.”

The championship aimed at popularising air rifle shooting as a sport among youth.

In the girl’s category, 17-year-old Sonam Choden came first scoring 228 points and took home gold. “This competition has helped me build my self-esteem and confidence.”

Kabita Ghalley won silver and Yuden Lhamo bronze.

In the boy’s category, Ngawang Choejor won gold with 236 points. Karma Yoezer scored 221 points and won silver. Sohan Pradhan came third and took home bronze.

The winners were awarded cash prizes too.

“Those who won and are really talented, they have the opportunity to take this up as a profession and become a full-time shooter. They have the opportunity to represent Bhutan in the future,” Dorji Phurba said.

BSF conducted the championship that ended on January 27.

Phurpa Lhamo