Completing the eight laps in one hour 42 minutes, Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School won the 10th Queen’s Road Relay in Thimphu yesterday.
Lungtenzampa MSS was leading the race in the first lap until Dechencholing HSS’ second runner Kinley Tenzin pushed the team behind. It was then on Kunzang Deki to restore her team’s lead.
Determined to close the gap between her team and the leader, the third runner of Lungtenzampa MSS stretched her body and controlling her breath, waited for her team mate to hand in the baton. By then the third runner of Dechencholing HSS was about hundred meters ahead.
To the team’s surprise, Kunzang Deki left behind DHSS’ third runner halfway of the lap to finish first. Her cover-up placed Lungtenzampa MSS to the top.
Her team mates stretched the lead and the team won confortably.
Each of the eight athletes had to run a distance of 2.3km to complete a lap.
Dechencholing HSS stood second after completing the run in one hour 44 minutes followed by Yangchenphug HSS that reached the finished line a minute later.
Kunzang Deki, 16, from Lungtenzampa MSS said that she lost confidence when Dechencholing took the lead in the second leg.
“In the third leg, I could cover up a good distance and finished first. I am extremely happy,” she said.
Her team mate, Tshering Dema is a registered athlete of Bhutan Amateur Athletic Federation (BAAF) who undergoes daily training. She said that the training helped her improve physical fitness and covered a good distance.
“The run was interesting and the competition was much easier compared to the training,” she said.
Kinley Tshering, the last runner of Dechencholing HSS said that he expected his team to win the relay. Completing the lap in nine minutes 52 seconds, he secured the best time.
However, his effort ended in disappointment as his team settled for the second position. “The experience was good although we couldn’t win. If the distance was less to cover in the final lap, the result could have been better,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the junior category, Zilnon Namgyelling LSS won the Queens’ Road Relay after completing the run in one hour 49 minutes. Changzamtog LSS completed the run in one hour 52 minutes and won the second position followed by Zilukha MSS that reached the finish line in two hours.
Fifteen-year-old Wangyel Rinchen, of Zilukha MSS secured the best time in the juniors category. He completed the lap in 10 minutes 24 seconds.
Wangyel Rinchen said that he did not expect his team to finish third without a complete team. “I am happy that I could record the best time in my category. This would keep me motivated. I feared running on the road in the beginning but later I enjoyed the run.”
The winner was given a cash prize of Nu 6,000. The first runner-up won a cash prize of Nu 5,000 while the second runners up won Nu 4,000.
Hiroaki Ishida, a representative from SEISA group, Japan that supports the federation with athletes training and scholarship to the excellent student-athlete presented awards to the winners.
BAAF organised the event to commemorate the royal wedding anniversary and to encourage youth into middle distance running. Ten schools from Thimphu took part in the 10th edition of the Queen’s Road Relay.