Bhutan’s lone woman para shooter gears up for Summer Paralympic qualifiers

Bhutan’s lone woman para shooter Kinley Dem is training hard to qualify for the 2024 Summer Paralympic Games in Paris. To participate in the Paralympic Games, the shooters will have to compete in the two qualification rounds. Kinley has already participated in the first qualification round in New Delhi, India last month. The second round will be held in South Korea towards the end of this month.

In her first qualification round in New Delhi, 29-year-old Kinley Dem from Wangdue Phodrang competed against 20 other international para athletes, Kinley came 13th after securing 612.1 points.

For her second qualification round, Kinley is vigorously preparing for the Changwon 2024 World Shooting Para Sports, WSPS World Cup which will begin from 25th of this month.

She is training for six hours daily. Kinley shared some of her challenges.

“When we practise here, we don’t have anyone to compete with us or we don’t have any spectators to watch while we are undergoing training. So, we are used this silent atmosphere. However, when we reach at the competition venue, there are lots of people and we are not able to concentrate. Therefore, we get nervous and it affects our performance.”

Kinley’s coach said it will be difficult for her to get an Olympic quota. However, Kinley still have another route to qualify.

“It will be difficult to get the quota. This is because the quota is awarded only to the gold medallist. However, by applying for bipartite places, she will get the chance to participate. To get this place, shooters need a minimum score of 595 points in the two World Cups. Kinley scored more than what’s required in the Asian Para Games and the recent World Cup,” said Dawa Lham, Para Shooting Coach.

Kinley Dem represented Bhutan in Asian Para Games held at Indonesia in 2018 and China in 2023 where she scored 613.4 points. Similarly, she took part in Changwon 2023 WSPS World Cup and New Delhi 2024 WSPS World Cup. She started her career in 2018. This month’s tournament in Korea will be her fifth appearance in international para-shooting event representing Bhutan.

The 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris which will begin in August this year is expected to see the participation of more than 4000 para athletes. They will be competing in more than 160 events.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Kipchu

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