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Press conference for pre-18th Asian Games meet was held in Thimphu yesterday
Press conference for pre-18th Asian Games meet was held in Thimphu yesterday

Little too early to expect our athletes to win: BOC

Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) has selected athletes from four national federations to represent the country in the 18th Asian Games.

At meet the press session held in Thimphu yesterday, director of media and public relations department of Indonesia’s Asian Games 2018 organising committee, Ratna Irsana Marhaendra, said Indonesia looks forward to the opportunity to showcase the world its diverse culture and traditions.

“We would like to show that we have strong commitment to making the event successful,” said Ratna Irsana Marhaendra.

This is the second time Indonesia is hosting the event.  Asian Games will be hosted in two different cities of Jakarta and Palembang for the first this year.

The second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games will see 45 countries and more than 15,000 athletes and officials participating. About 40 different sports and 462 events will be played at the event.

Close to 5,000 media members from across the world are expected to cover the event.

The event will see Bhutanese athletes taking part in four different sports of archery, boxing, taekwondo, and golf. At the last Asian games held in South Korea in 2014, a total of 16 Bhutanese athletes took part in seven different sports.

BOC’s secretary general, Karma Sonam Tshering, said despite their ability and interest in sports young people lack the opportunity to shine. “Our job now is to give them an opportunity. This is why we participate in international events.”

He added that it is little too early to expect athletes to win at the event. “We have to have balanced expectations. We might perform well. But our mandate now is to inculcate sporting culture in the country. It will take time to be successful in the international arena.”

He added that BOC is on developing capacities of coaches and to develop international standard facilities for athletes.

The athletes who will represent the country at Asian Games were selected based on their performance at the last South Asian games held in Guwahati, India in 2016.

Making Bhutan the 11th country to welcome the 18th Asian Games, a fun run programme to promote Asian games, and an opportunity for the countries across Asia to be the part of 18th Asian Games will be held today in Punakha.

The event will see more than 1,000 children gather to celebrate annual Olympic day. It would also see Olympians and some athletes from the country take part.

Thirty more fun run programmes to welcome 18th Asian Games will be held before the event begins in August.

Nima

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