Highlights of the ASBC National Federations – Bhutan had surprise quarter-finals in the recent decade

The Asian Boxing Confederation introduces the best moments of its affiliated Asian National Federations launching a new PR campaign, the Highlights of the ASBC National Federations. Bhutan is a developing South Asian National Federation which increased its activities and attended almost all ASBC events in the recent years. Their Sigyel Phub, Tashi Norbu, Dorji Nima and Tashi Wangdi were near to reach medals in the Asian Games or in the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in the last decade.

Bhutan achieved its first medals in the international stage at the Kathmandu 1984 South Asian Games. Bhutan earned four bronze medals in the next Dhaka 1985 South Asian Games increasing their performances. Dukpa Tenzie was their first finalist in the history of the South Asian Games in 1987 which edition was held in Calcutta, India.

Bhutan’s biggest sensation in the recent decades, Sigyel Phub advanced to the final of the Dhaka 2010 South Asian Games and claimed silver medal in Bangladesh. Phub was one of the biggest sensations of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games where he defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Syimyk Abdyldabek Uulu and Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Tolegenov during his road to the quarter-finals of the event.

There was not any boxer from Bhutan previously who would be able to beat top Kyrgyz and Kazakh athletes. Phub was stopped by Syria’s experienced Wessam Salamana in the quarter-finals of the bantamweight (56kg) but his result was Bhutan’s top highlight in the history of the Asian Games.

Bhutan’s Tashi Norbu advanced to the quarter-finals of the Bangkok 2015 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships and qualified for the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships as first from his nation. Bhutan’s next highlight was delivered by Dorji Nima who reached the Top8 in the Tashkent 2017 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships three years ago. Nima defeated Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Suresh Pattiarachchi in the last 16 before losing to Uzbekistan’s eventual winner Murodjon Akhmadaliev but he was also near to get Bhutan’s first medal as Sigyel Phub.

Bhutan’s currently best boxer Tashi Wangdi impressed in the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament where he defeated a superb Kazakh boxer as well during his road to the bronze medal. Wangdi claimed silver medal at the 2019 South Asian Games in Kathmandu where he proved his impressive footwork. He moved up to the flyweight (52kg) and attended at the Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in Amman this March.

Bhutan National Olympic Committee approved the re-start of the sport activities in the country after four months of break due to the Coronavirus crisis in July. Bhutan Boxing Federation arranged a national training camp for their best boxers and Mr. Trashe Phuntsho, who is the head coach of the national team, selected more than 35 top junior, youth and elite boxers to start the preparation for the upcoming possible international events.

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