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Open National Junior Badminton Championship begins in the capital

The Open National Junior Badminton Championship is underway in the capital. The championship started yesterday coinciding with the World Badminton Day. The Bhutan Badminton Federation aims to identify the top 12 players from this tournament for intensive training ahead of the South Asian Regional Championship, scheduled to take place in Nepal next month. With over 70 participants, the five-day championship features fierce competition in the under-17 and under-15 categories.

The Bebena Badminton Sports Complex is hosting the championship with the primary objective of promoting a healthy lifestyle through the sport of badminton.

Organized by the badminton federation, this tournament serves as an opportunity to engage the youth during their summer break while offering a platform for aspiring badminton players to exhibit and enhance their skills.

Girls and boys will showcase their talents in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles categories.

“From this tournament, we will select a pool of players, from all the schools across the country and these players will be trained here to prepare for the upcoming South Asian games, which will take place in Nepal sometime in August. The championship is also to celebrate World Badminton Day to promote the sport of badminton,” said Bikash Gurung, Development Manager of Bhutan Badminton Federation.

The development manager added that the championship is a platform for participants to demonstrate their tenacity and catch the attention of the national selection committee.

Players from remote schools are also participating in the championship. They say such a tournament fosters camaraderie, promotes talent from all backgrounds, and offers exposure to a wider competitive landscape.

“I am participating for the first time in this type of tournament. I am interested to play. I did not think I will reach to such a platform. However, I am here and I am very happy. I am so happy to get such an opportunity thanks to the Bhutan Badminton Federation. I can learn a lot and if I can win, I will get an opportunity to represent the country,” said Samten Dorji, a student at Tangmachu Central School in Lhuentse.

“Badminton keeps us fit and healthy. In this tournament, we can make new friends from different parts of Bhutan. This tournament will motivate us to improve our game,” said Yeshey Leksel Dorji, a student at Deki Primary School in Thimphu.

A total of 51 boys and 25 girls are participating in the championship, representing various schools from Dagana, Lhuentse, Samtse, Thimphu, Haa, Paro, Wangdue Phrodrang, and Pema Gatshel.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Sherub Dorji