A team of four national Olympic archers are in Japan to participate in the Handa Cup, the annual Japanese national level competition, that ends on September 20.
The team is participating on the invitation of SEISA group of Japan. The Handa Cup has a practice of inviting one international member into the competition. Last year, a team from South Korea played in the tournament.
The two re-curve archers and other two compound archers assisted by two coaches left for the tournament on September 11.
According to Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) officials, the trip is part of their preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The Olympics will be Bhutan’s 10th appearance in the Olympic games.
The only female archer, Karma, who participated in 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Lam Dorji who took part in South Asian Games will take part in the recurve category.
One of the archers, Lam Dorji said that it’s a dream of every athlete to qualify for the Olympics.
“Archery is our national game and the organisers look forward to our participation. We prepared for a minimum of five hours everyday for the tournament,” Lam Dorji said. “I set daily goals from early morning and I prepare myself mentally and physically.”
Karma Sherab and Tandin Dorji will compete in the compound category. This is Tandin Dorji’s debut in an international tournament.
The archers will take part in individual, and mix team competitions in recurve and compound categories.
The SEISA group and Bhutan Olympic Committee collaborate to prepare the athletes and coaches for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The group supports the federation with archery accessories, players’ kits and provides financial assistance for annual school archery tournaments.
The group also provides scholarships for the best archers from these tournaments, which has let to increased number of participants in the annual school tournaments.
The team’s participation in the Handa Cup is is sponsored by the group.
Bhutan has participated in the Olympics in Archery and air rifle shooting since its first appearance in the Olympic games in 1984.