Friday, 25 July 2008

Bhutan : And the matches go on

Some 900 archers from around the country will be aiming for the bull’s eye in this season’s most awaited and popular archery tournament in the country, the Yangphel Open, which began on July 19 in Thimphu and Paro.

The opening match was played between Team Centenary, Dorjee Phalam and Chuuk Samtsi Rang in Thimphu.

The Paro opener featured Vajra, Bernag and Tse Way Charo. The July 20 match in Paro involving the team Hungyel, was one for the record books. Hungyel made a team record score of 43 kareys. The team’s ace marksman, Gem Tshering, made a powerful personal statement by making a record of his own, 14 kareys in 15 rounds. This stands as the highest individual tally so far.

More remarkably, Gem Tshering’s 14 kareys included five dobjis, three of them coming in consecutive rounds. He thus achieved the first Baa-kor dobji of the tournament. Also, four of his kareys were spot on the bull’s eye.

The afternoon match on July 22 in Paro was another treat for archery enthusiasts as team Hungoen Nga equalled Hungyel’s team record of 43 kareys. However, Gem Tshering still retains the highest number of kareys and Wangdi of Hungoen Nga follows in close second place with 13 kareys and five dobjis, one karey hitting the bull’s eye.

On July 23, yet another team played well in Paro. The NTT Construction team hit 40 kareys. Archery fans in Thimphu had to wait until yesterday to see a team play well. Finally, it was a relief for them to see Tob Dhen Dhey score 40 kareys in the morning match played in Thimphu.

This year 150 teams from around the country have registered for the tournament, which is yet another record. Last year there were 112 teams participating. “To think that the tournament started in 1997 with just 23 teams,” said Tshewang Rinchen, the secretary general of Yangphel Archery.

Due to the increasing number of teams registering for the competition the registration fee for each team was raised from Nu 6,000 to Nu 8,000 this year. That’s a whopping Nu 1.2 million in total.

With construction work going on in Changlimithang, this year’s edition of the tournament is being played at the RBP ground in Thimphu and the town range in Paro Each day, four matches are played, two in Thimphu and two in Paro. As of today, 24 matches have been completed involving 72 teams. Every team shoots for 15 rounds in the league stage.

“The management of Yangphel has always seen this tournament as a gift for the people,” said Tshewang Rinchen, adding that the tournament was organised in order to promote the national game. The prizes for the different categories of winning are very attractive, the most alluring being a Hyundai Santro car which the best archer will drive away.
As of today, the leading teams are Hungyel and Hungoen Nga and the rest of the teams are average, according to Tshewang Rinchen.

Yesterday, Norbu Silee, Soo-Naam and Tob Dhen Dhey played in the morning match in Thimphu and Thunder Bowl, Ga Wai- Charo and Tiger Stone played the morning match in Paro. The afternoon match was played between EuDruk Ngoenmo, AA-Roo and Jurwa in Thimphu and Sangay Arts & Crafts, Yoez Graphics and Amankora in Paro.

Today, Drukpa Kinley, Merig Puendru and THPA face off each other in Thimphu in the morning while Trowa, BTCL and Laya Tours & Treks slug it out in Paro. The afternoon match will be played by Dhomsap, Wangkha Bulls and Tshering Chenga in Thimphu and Galing A, Dragon Roots and KTY friends in Paro.

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