Gyeltshen learning to scale new heights in Dubai - GulfToday

Gyeltshen learning to scale new heights in Dubai

Gyeltshen learning to scale new heights in Dubai

Gyeltshen will be the first athlete to represent Bhutan at a World Para Athletics Championships when the Men’s Shotput F40 Finals start in Dubai on Thursday.

Twenty-six-year old Gyeltshen is pumped up. He will be the first athlete to represent Bhutan at a World Para Athletics Championships when the Men’s Shotput F40 Finals start in Dubai 2019 Championships on Thursday.

Gyeltshen, who comes from a remote village in Trasiyangtse district in Bhutan, wants to use this opportunity to become a better player, better person and send a message to his country that we also can be among the best. “We can, I can.”

“I feel I got a golden opportunity to represent Bhutan here. I am proud to be the first athlete from Bhutan to compete at a World Championships. It’s a great experience for us here meeting and seeing the best Para Athletes in the world. I also made some friends here from China, Fiji etc.

“Last time we were in Beijing Grand Prix, and it was a great learning experience there too. The Dubai 2019 event is much bigger; the atmosphere is great. I also met players from many unknown countries I have never heard of in my life,” Gyeltshen told the Local Organsing Committee ahead of his event.

Gyeltshen is joined by the shy Chimi Dema, also a shotputter in F40 category who will compete on the final day (Nov. 15), and team manager Penjor Gyeltshen making it one of the smallest contingents in the Championships.

For both the athletes, this is their second international Para Athletics tournament and they believe they can inspire many others in Bhutan sharing their experience.

“I surely want to participate in Tokyo 2020. There are so many champions here. It will be difficult to get a medal here but we should keep trying. And I believe that we should think ‘we can, I can’,” Gyeltshen added.

“I will be sharing this experience with others when I go back to Bhutan.”

Both the athletes are being supported by development wing of International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Agitos Foundation under their NPC Development Athletes Support Programme.

Team manager Penjor, who also serves as the coach, have been training and guiding the athletes since last August. “And I am very happy with their improvement.”

In fact, Gyeltshen broke his personal best record of 6 meters by making a throw distance of 6.04 metres, while Chimi also got her personal record of 4.10 metres at the Beijing Grand Prix in May. They also attained the Minimum Qualification Standard (MQS) for Dubai 2019 in Beijing.

Penjor highlighted Dubai 2019 has been a “big opportunity” for new NPC like Bhutan and their players. “I have been taking my athletes around, showing them the level of competition. The athletes are already feeling nervous specially the girl athlete, Chimi. From here, they will learn to cope with pressure of international competitions.

“It’s like a stepping stone for them. They are also learning from the elite athletes’ training level, their routines, even trained with them at the gym and on the field. Now they can go back and work on their technique and training regime. This will help them develop as better athlete.

“Our preparation for Tokyo 2020 has already started.”

Speaking on the Paralympic Movement and Par Athletics scene in Bhutan, he said they are “new baby” in this sport. NPC Bhutan was formed just two years back and their Para archer and shooter took part at the Indonesia 2019 Asian Para Games,

“Para Athletics in Bhutan is very new. We started last August with the support of Nippon Science University in Japan under the Nippon Sports University Expansion of Para Participation for Development countries (NEPP). I got trained there as a coach and started this project ‘Target Tokyo 2020’.

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