After two consecutive unsuccessful attempts, Karma Wangchuk, 38, who is popularly known as Zorilla is selected as Trashigang dzongkhag’s nyagoe (strong man).

He will represent the dzongkhag during the final nyagoe competition in Thimphu, which will be held later this year.

During the nyagoe selection on August 31, the six-feet-three-inch man from Phongmey gewog outperformed all the other three challengers.

“This success didn’t come to me as easily as I expected,” Karma Wangchuk said.

He said he was up against three of the finest from Radhi and Yangnyer gewogs. “I somehow got lucky this time.”

He completed the five drills in nine minutes, 10 seconds, which could only be challenged by Yangnyer’s Samten Yeshi who finished the drills in 13 minutes, 49 seconds.

“Unlike the previous two competitions, I didn’t prepare for this one. I participated because of my interest,” he said. “The victory now gives me the responsibility to train harder for the final competition in Thimphu. I’ll do my best.”

Debutant Chogay Rinchen quit midway after lifting the two hefty vehicle tyres weighing about 130kg. “I always thought that I could do this. But it’s easier said than done.”

Excited about the competition, the lean and tanned farmer from Radhi reached the venue at 8am. The contest started only at 4pm.

He was planning a surprise for his wife back home with good news. “I came here without discussing with her. Although I didn’t expect to win in my first attempt, it would have been more convincing to inform about my participation to her when I got back.”

The competition drew in a large crowd. The popular catchphrase of the competition “Druk-gi-nyagoe” was on everyone’s lips.

One of the spectators said that the town lacks entertainment activity for the public. “We would like to see more fun activities and competitions being held in Trashigang,” he said. “Such programmes are important for community vitality. Otherwise, there is nothing much happening here.”

Meanwhile, Karma Wangchuk was surrounded by his fans, mostly students, for autographs and photographs after the competition.

He said that he plans to train with experienced athletes and take advices from experts on diet and exercise.  “This time it’s not just about me. I will be representing Trashigang dzongkhag against the nyagoe of other dzongkhags. I want to give my 100 percent.”

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang