Bhutanese boxers leave for U-22 Youth Boxing Championship in Astana

Three Bhutanese boxers will compete at the Asian Boxing Confederation’s Under-22 Youth Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan. The two-week-long championship will begin this Saturday. Over 400 boxers from 24 countries will compete at the championship. The event is leading up to the Youth World Boxing Championship scheduled to take place in Porec, Croatia, later this year.

The Bhutanese boxers will compete in the men’s Under-22 and youth championships. The boxers have been training for over three months for the championship.

Twenty-two-year-old Migma Dorji will compete in the Under-22 minimum weight of 48-kilogramme category.

Similarly, nineteen-year-old Kinley Phuntsho will compete in the Under-22 flyweight 51-kilogramme category.

The boxers say since it is their first international tournament, it may be difficult for them to win.

“While competing in national tournaments feels easy, the atmosphere at international tournaments makes us feel somewhat different and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I hope to emerge victorious in the international tournament,” said Kinley Phuntsho, U-22 boxer.

In the youth championship, 18-year-old Dechen Dorji will take part in the lightweight 60-kilogramme category.

The national youth champion is ready to showcase his skills as he makes his international debut.

“Before participating in this tournament, we had two joint training sessions, and I’ve been working hard. I cannot guarantee that I’ll perform like others, but I will give it my best shot,” said Dechen Dorji, U-18 boxer.

Leading the contingent is head coach Tashi Phuntsho, who is confident that the boys will deliver on the international stage.

“This tournament serves as a pathway to competition. Winning here would qualify them for participation in the International Boxing Association’s Youth World Championship,” said Tashi Phuntsho, head coach of Bhutan Boxing Federation.

The three boxers were selected to represent the country based on their performances during a training camp and friendly competition in Bangladesh in March.

For the championship, Bhutan is placed in Group 1 alongside Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and China.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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