The Bhutanese taekwondo team brought home 12 medals from the recently concluded ninth Tirak Taekwondo International Championship held at Bangkok, Thailand.
The team of 12 national players (six boys and six girls) won three gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
Ngawang Yonten, Tandin Bidha and Tshering Yangchen bagged gold medal while Sonam Wangmo, Sonam yangtsho, Dorji Tshering and Dorji Khando won silver. Lham Kem, Chimi Dolma, Tenzin Dorji, Migmar Wangchuk and Tenzin Lhendup won bronze medal.
Ngawang Yonten, 22, from Trashigang, Kangpara was declared the best fighter of the championship in the overall senior men’s category. He was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of Thai Baht 1,000.
A third dan belt, Ngawang Yonten competed in the 68-74kg-weight category from the quarter finals. All his matches were completed on October 26.
In the quarter final, Ngawang beat Cambodian Meansoursa Yik with a huge point difference of 19-3.
In the semifinal, he beat Indonesian Muhammad Narez Ma in superiority display with 24-3 points and in the final he beat Brazilian Lucas Souza Mamede 17- 9.
Ngawang said that his 18 years of taekwondo journey paid off.
“We prepared well and the results were overwhelming. In the South Asian Games, I am hoping to grab the gold medal,” said Ngawang.
Since he was selected as a national player in 2016, he won medals in the international competitions.
He secured bronze in the South Asian Games in Shillong India in 2016 and gold in the first Indian Taekwondo Championship in Assam, India in 2018.
Ngawang is currently staying at Taekwondo Training Centre at the Swimming Pool complex, Thimphu and coaches other taekwondo enthusiasts, especially the students.
According to the BTF, the competition is to prepare for the upcoming South Asian Games (SAG), which is going to take place in December at Kathmandu, Nepal
BTF’s coach, Pem Choki said that all the players were selected in December last year through competitions in the dzongkhags and they were trained for the championship starting February this year.
“Our players have performed well and we expect the same results in the SAG,” added Pem Choki.
A total of 836 athletes from 22 countries took part in the championship from October 26-28.