Archery: Two women athletes will represent Bhutan at the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil next month.

Twenty-six-year-old Karma, the best recurve bow archer in the country, will accompany 24-year-old shooter Lenchu Kunzang.

Karma was selected based on the results from the 19th Asian Championships held in Bangkok last year and the World Qualifications in Turkey last month.

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009 and has taken part in more than eight international competitions, winning  medals for the country. “It’s a dream come true for me to be a part of the Olympics,” said Karma. “Every athlete in the world dreams to be on the grandest stage of all and I’m very lucky to have got this opportunity.”

Bhutan Archery Federation’s head coach (BAF) Tashi Tshering said that Karma has improved consistently over the years. “She is the best we have today. Like everyone else, we are also expecting some medals at the Olympics, but I would be more than happy to see Karma deliver her best at the competition. The goal is to keep improving.”

Karma’s best performance till date was in Turkey where she scored 620 out of a possible 720 points.

BAF’s general secretary Tshewang Rinchen said that if Karma manages to maintain her home ground scores at the competition, she could provide a tough challenge to the other participants.

“I’m sure she’ll give her best at the competition and then take it from there,” said Tshewang Rinchen. “If she can play at the current level, we can expect better results this time.”

The Bhutanese archers were also a part of the 2012 London Olympics. However, the team was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

Karma said that she is ready for the Olympics. “I’m very excited and nervous at the same time. It is time for me to show what I’ve learned so far against the world’s best archers.” She added that it is a privilege to be recognised as the best archer in the country.

Meanwhile, BAF is conducting a summer coaching camp for interested youth aged between 12 and 21 years in international style of archery.

The camp will include two sessions of intermediary lessons for the invited candidates and basic classes for new-interested participants.

The programme is conducted to engage youth meaningfully and to create awareness on the Olympic style of archery.

Tshewang Rinchen said that the federation already has a good team, but to compliment the team some of the candidates with exceptional talents will be considered for further selection for the national archery team.

Younten Tshedup