Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Email

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

(Source: World Archery)

For the first time in history, Bhutan won a quota place in the Olympics — thanks to Karma, the talented archer. 

The 31-year-old made her Olympic debut five years ago in Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. And became the first Bhutanese athlete to win the historic spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

She scored a competition-best 616 points during qualifying in Japan, seeding 56th overall, and faced India's number one Deepika Kumari in her first-round match. 

While she lost in straight sets to Kumari, Karma was pleased with the significant progress she has made for Bhutan by competing in the Games.

“To qualify for the Olympics was my biggest dream. To achieve the Tokyo Olympics was like achieving a medal for our country. I’m very satisfied,” said Karma.

Karma won her quota spot for Tokyo during the Asian continental qualification tournament in Bangkok. By earning her place, instead of receiving a universality invitation, she said she felt less pressure to perform well when she arrived at the Olympics.

She had after all earned her place among the world’s best outright.

Training under coach Young Sook Park, the 1984 Olympian also known as Sally, Karma has made huge technical progress and it’s evident on the competition field.

“She is god’s gift to me,” Karma said. “Whatever I achieve, it’s all because of her. She helped me a lot. I thank her. Because of her, I’m here."

It appears that the feeling is mutual. Coach Sally was quick to praise Karma, even after her loss to Kumari, commending her star pupil for her progress. 

“She was fantastic,” Sally said. “I never felt that type of pressure. Everything was perfect. I’m very satisfied with her performance.”

Including Karma, three other athletes from Bhutan competed in the Tokyo Olympics through invitations and wild card entries for swimming, judo and shooting events.

On July 27, swimmer Sangay Tenzin completed his 100m freestyle in 57.57 seconds. Since 2019, he has trained in Phuket, Thailand with support from the International Swimming Federation's [FINA] scholarship programme.

On July 24, judoka Ngawang Namgyel was defeated by Mihrac Akkus from Turkey. 21-year-old Mihrac Akkus was the silver medalist at the 2020 Judo Grand Prix Tel, Israel.

According to Bhutan Judo Association (BJA), Ngawang lost by juji-gatame (arm bar). “His grip fighting was good and kept Akkus at bay foiling all of his attacks. He put on good positive judo and even attempted seoi nage (shoulder throw).”  

Ngawang lost in 2 minutes and 56 seconds.  

“Ngawang had the added disadvantage of facing a lefty. There is no senior lefty Judoka at the BJA. Training against a lefty has more or less not been done. Newaza (ground fighting)  has not been a big part of our training,” BJA stated.  


(Source: Bhutan Judo Association)

Shooter Lenchu Kunzang was eliminated in the 10m Air Rifle Women’s Qualification round on July 24. She scored 618.1 out of 654 points. Lenchu was ranked 43rd out of 50 shooters. 

Even though Bhutan's journey in the Tokyo Olympics had ended, these Bhutanese athletes have been a source of inspiration to the kingdom. 



Related Posts

What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

What are the traditional sports of Bhutan?

The Bhutanese have a variety of traditional sports. Some test your aim and skills, whereas with others, it’s about pure...

Jul 13, 2021 11:15

Contributing to the country through the love for football

It's been a month since the conclusion of Bhutan Premier League 2020. Daily Bhutan interviews Paro FC to find out more...

Dec 21, 2020 17:05

Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League...

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners...

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Latest

News

Bhutan to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with Ripple

In a recent press release by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA), Bhutan will be collaborating with Ripple Labs, Inc. to pilot a...

Sep 23, 2021 15:45

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through gong therapy

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

Features

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world

There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this...

Sep 24, 2021 16:10

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 29, 2021 17:06

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

The significance of offering seven bowls of water

The 7 bowls signify respectively: water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfume, and food.

Sep 27, 2021 11:32

The different types of prayer wheels in Bhutan

You'll find prayer wheels all over Bhutan. Inside each prayer wheel is a tightly rolled-up scroll of mantras. Spinning the wheel is...

Sep 02, 2021 11:22

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!