24th Aug 2012     it looked like that the single quarter final match today would be decided through penalty shootout at the Lower Changlimithang range. The last 2012 quarter final match of the 16th Yangphel Open Archery Tournament was played between ‘Snow Lion in Style’, ‘Kencho Tshering Construction’ and ‘Tshamgar Construction.’ The team Kencho Tshering completed early game set in the 4th round which was equalized by ‘Snow Lion in Style’ in the sixth round – and for the next 8 rounds till the 14th no game set could be completed. And when all had resigned to penalty shootout, Snow Lion In Style hit 3 kareys in the last 15th round to add five points to their earlier 2 points made in the 9th round. Their opponent ‘Kencho Tshering Const.’ did have 5 points till the 14th but was not able to convert into the 2nd game set. It was Snow Lion who completed the winning game set in the last round, when none from Kencho Tshering Const. hit any kareys. The single karey in this round from Tshamgar Const. was not enough to hold ‘Snow Lion In Style’ in having them complete the match in style. Tshamgar Const. could complete no game set with their mere 17 kareys. No penalty shootouts were necessary.


But three of the nine quarter final matches were decided through penalty shootouts. Ata Boning won to be 2012 semi finalist after they had tied with teams of Planet Gym and Chituen Construction at 1 game set each on the 23 Aug. Before then, Sonam Automobiles also won in penalty shootout after they had tied with Treasure Vase at two game sets each. And perhaps, biggest upset of this stage could be when Druk Lhayul Const. defeated Blue Poppy and Lhendup Tshe Charo after 3 penalty shootouts. Monggar’s Lhendup Tse Charo though had 43 kareys could not complete single game set during then.


The highest number of game set during the quarter final stage was completed by Gyelyong Gaki when they hit 54 kareys (as much as league highest total of Pelden Group) to complete 5 game sets to completely rout Tsirang’s best team Foster and Zorig Consultancy of Paro. Gyelyong Gaki’s Tharchen hit 16 kareys – the stage individual high on which his team mate Gem Tshering added 14 kareys. Between two of them, they hit more than their opponents’ team totals. Amazing, as one archer remarked, “what do they eat to play like this?”


Pelden Group of Co. and Yulgyel each completed 3 game sets (with their 41 and 43 kareys respectively) while all others 2012 semi finalists completed less than two during the quarters.


But they would need to complete more than two to progress further in their semi final match beginning tomorrow (Aug 25) and ending day after. This weekend would see the battles between the 9 best teams (of 26o teams that started off the tournament in July), to see which becomes the best three to play finals on Sunday Sept 2.


Nothing is given; there could be some upsets like during the quarter finals. Blue Poppy Tours was strong team that was defeated during this stage. The tournament favourites Kabi Lungchuk and Sichey Mavericks of Sikkim (that was cheered on at every stage by all the Bhutanese spectators) lost out during the quarters as well. The Monggar team Lhendup Tse Charo’s big total of 43 kareys not being able to complete any game sets and losing out is another. In fact, Dragon Roots remains to be only semi finalist that is outside of Thimphu and Paro. The strong teams from other regions have been seen out. There maybe surprises this weekend like today’s match – nothing is given.


21st Aug 2012      the Yangphel Archery Committee has declared the winners of league based prizes. Most of the individual prizes are based on the league (except for Finals Most Valuable Players) in order to provide equal opportunity for all the participating individual archers despite their team performance.


This official confirmation has been announced 11 days after the league, since Best of Bhutan shootout had to be completed before deciding the grand prize winner. No individual archer can take two or more prizes (except for records and inset competition like Pchani Seeded Shootout), as such the organizing committee needed to wait to see how some of the top archers performed to decide which prize they would be eligible for. For example, Tshewang Dorji was eligible for both ‘Highest Dobji’ and ‘Highest One day League Score’ but since he won the title of Best Archer and Two Hundred Thousand that comes along, these two prizes have been given to the next best performing archer in the corresponding category.


Jigme Norbu would be taking two prizes for the 2nd Best Archer and Seeded Bronze, since Seeded Shootout is taken to be separate inset competition.  The prizes would be given on Sept 2 final match.


19th Aug 2012     the 2012 Best Archer is Tshewang Dorji of team ‘Pelden Group of Co.’ His massive 18 kareys in today’s 15 round ‘Best of Bhutan’ shootout left no doubt of his great skill in the minds of all, including of his opponents – the other top 14 archers of Bhutan. The closest to his total kareys was that of Jigme Norbu who hit 13 kareys – 5 short of the Tshewang Dorji. Jigme Norbu is the 2012 Best Archer Runners Up and the 2nd Runners Up is Tshetem Phuntsho with his 11 karey total.


They will receive their prizes of Nu. 200, 000, Nu. 50, 000 & Nu. 15, 000 after the Sept 2nd final match of the tournament. Today His Excellency Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, President of Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Authority, gave medals and certificates to all of the contending top 15 archers after the shootout.


 Tshewang Dorji’s total includes seven dobjis (consecutive hits in a single round) and six bull’s eye hits. He missed in 3rd, 10th, 11th and 15th round. Midway through the match, at the 7th round, he had hit 9 kareys while the closest opponents were at 5 kareys. Jigme Norbu at the end of the 11th round had closed the gap to just 3 kareys but after the 12th round Tshewang maintained his lead, increasing it in 13th and 14th. Had Jigme not missed in the first two rounds, would the results have been different? Jigme missed in the 1st 2nd and 15th round only.


The shootout among the ongoing tournament’s top 15 archers was started last year, when for the first time tournament’s league phase was taken to the regions. Till then, the title and prize (like other individual prizes) for the Best Archer was simply based on the league phase. In order to provide a same playing field (literally as well), another 15 rounds (like a penalty shootout) was set where the top archers (across the regions) would have to prove their skill for the title.


This shootout (dubbed ‘Best of Bhutan Shootout’) was conducted one day after the pchani shootout for the tournament’s Seeded Archers. In the seeded shootout, Sigay Phub came to be the Seeded Gold; Sonam the Seeded Silver and Seeded Bronze was taken by Jigme Norbu. They will take cash prizes of Nu. 15, 000, Nu. 10, 000 and Nu. 5000.The seeded ‘pchani’ shootout is inset competition where only the current seeded archers (based on the performance in past year’s tournament) is allowed to shoot in.


These two days have had the very best of Bhutan prove their talent at the Thimphu Changlimithang ranges. Even before the shootout began, it was almost guaranteed that there would be many kareys (hits) – the question had been how many.  Tshewang Dorji’s total is the boundary.


And yet, there would be more ‘hit’s at Thimphu Changlimithang as quarter finals begin tomorrow (Aug 20) to end by Friday Aug 24. From 27 quarter finalists, there would be 9 teams that would progress to semi finals to play on Saturday and Sunday.


The quarter finalists are the top 27 teams from among the 260 teams that started off the tournament. Like in these two days, there would be more nonstop hits!


11 Aug 2012                         the Knockout stage of the 16th Yangphel Open Archery Tournament began with traditional ‘marchang’ ceremony presided by Dasho Col. Rinzin at Thimphu Changlimithang ranges. Immediately after the start of the opening matches, the team ‘Pelden Group of Companies’ began to show their supremacy.


In the very first round, at the lower Changlimithang bacho, Pelden Group completed their first game set with six kareys. The 3 kareys of Druk Cat’ in this round was not enough to hold them since Pelden Group’s six hits included 3 bull’s eye hits. They then went on to complete another 3 game sets in 5th, 10th and 13th round.  Done without any fanfare, Pelden Group quietly brought karey total to 50 hits and completely rout their opponents ‘Tshering Meto AV Production’ and Druk Cats. It was knockout performance by Pelden Group!


The opening match at the upper bacho was more competitive, where the two teams of Planet Gym and Technical Training Institute had to go into the penalty shootout after tying at 2 game-set each. The other team Gencha could complete no game set. Tshering Wangchuk’s single bull’s eye hit decided the outcome in the favor of Planet Gym


The afternoon match at the upper bacho was also decided through penalty shootout where Dragon Roots came out victorious defeating fellow team from Phuntsholing the Rangdol’s Mart and a team from Paro – the Wangchu 8.


Phuentsholing’s team Kencho Tsering Const. overcame Thimphu’s Thangka House and Trongsa’s Mangdue Trophel with their 2 game sets and 35 kareys at the lower bacho in the afternoon.


These winners would play again at Changlimithang for the quarterfinals that begin Aug 20. They will have to prove then again. And going by the day’s score’s it looks like Pelden Group will breeze through that next stage as well.


Pelden Group’s individual total is impressive as well, Tshewang Dorji hit 15 kareys today and Tshetem Phuntsho added another 14. On average, a player of Pelden Group makes 10 hits each.


It is difficult to match such a knockout display of skills but it could be – since there are other 71 top teams that have come to Changlimithang from around the country to play this stage. They have proved themselves in their regional league to qualify for this stage and from among 260 teams that started off the tournament.


8th Aug 2012        just one day away from end of the 2012 league, there has been some surprises in it since it began on Jul 16, 2012. Contrary to general expectations, Tshewang Dorji of Pelden Group did not break the record even though he had the best chance from the first two matches. He could add only 6 kareys to his two match 34 kareys. He is still ranked the 2nd from among 1560 archers participating this year.


His team mate and last year’s champion, Tshering Gyeltshen made to top 15 on Aug 5th, but was pushed out very next day. Now ranked the 17th, Tshering Gyeltshen would not be able to contend to retain his title of Best Archer of the Year. The title would be contested (on Aug 19) among the top 15 archers, that includes Jigme Norbu with his 2012 record breaking performance, Talop Namgay – the three time champion, the consistent Sikkimese Chuing Dorjee Chanakpa, 2010 champion Keta Karma Thinley (ranked 10th) besides other top archers from around the kingdom. There is possibility that Gem Tshering playing tomorrow (Aug 9) in Paro morning match could become one of these top 15.


The Gem Tshering’s team Gyelyong Gaki has high average of 41 kareys from two matches. But they will have to bring about higher total if they are to surpass Pelden Group’s tournament high of 145 kareys. The closest to the total is 127 kareys by Dragon Roots in Phuentsholing.


These teams seem to have good chance for them to get the title of Best Team of Year and the team prizes, which, this year feature Apple devices such as New IPAD and IPhone4 beside other electronic and home appliances.  For the individual prizes, the change would be for the Best Archer and their Runner’s Up prizes. The Best Archer prize, due to macro conditions, have been changed to Nu. 200, 000/- and there are slight increases in the Best Archer Runners Up and Best Archer 2nd Runners Up prizes.


Besides the regular category of prizes, this year, the prize for the Record Best One Day Score would be given to 2011 champion Tshering Gyeltshen. The prizes for record set during the ongoing tournament would be given next year. Jigme Norbu so would receive his prize next year, similarly the prize for the record Bull’s eye would be given next year  to Nidup Dorji of Tsirang Dzongkhag, if it does not change till end of the league tomorrow. He would receive his highest bull’s eye hit prize this year.  Yet for the official confirmation, we have to wait till the end of the league tomorrow. And even in one day, we could have surprises, going by what the 2012 league has shown us.

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