Packing a Power punch

Tandin Lhamo wants to show that women can be physically and mentally strong too

She knows how to pack a power punch.

Twenty-one-year-old Tandin Lhamo from Thomgang in Dagana is the first female boxer in the country who began her career back in 2015 and is breaking stereotypes.

The avid boxer completed class XII from Nima Higher Secondary School before she set on pursuing her passion as she calls it.

Tandin has participated in the National Boxing Championship organized by the Bhutan Olympic Committee and Bhutan Boxing Federation. Not only did she make Bhutanese women proud back in her hometown, but she also represented Bhutan in Ulaanbaatar Cup 2017 held in Mongolia losing to a Philippine boxer by just two points.

However, the defeat did not deter her and in fact made her more determined to excel as a boxer.

Her parents run a small business in Thimphu. She has an elder brother.

Talking to Business Bhutan, Tandin said, “I am self-inspired. I think I landed up as a boxer due to karma (faith). I chose boxing because we need to push our body to the limit and have to be mentally and physically strong. I am aggressive in my own way.”

Tandin said though she faces criticism sometimes, she takes it in her stride because she has a strong and brave heart.

She studied boxing from Coach Sigyel Phub in 2016 in his club Druk Thimphu Boxing Club and joined Bhutan Boxing Federation (BBF) a year later in 2017 as the Federation had qualified coaches.

Tandin feels that women are looked down for their weaknesses but she believes in herself and finds motivation within. “Also, having a supportive family helps.”

Managing time between her studies and boxing was a challenge though.

Also having to wrangle with her male counterparts during training sessions was a problem.

This year she won Bronze medal at the first Indra Maya Mahajan Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Nepal. Last year she participated at Asian Games in Jakarta Palembang in Indonesia and also participated at the India open international boxing tournament in Delhi.

She also participated in the 28th international elite men and women boxing tournament -Ulaanbaater cup in Mongolia. Currently she is preparing for upcoming events like Asian Confederation Boxing Championships (ASBC) for women and men elite boxers in April in Bangkok, then Indian open at Gauhati in May. Next, she will be taking part in the South Asian Games in December. As she prepares to box her way to the top, she says that she has always been tough. “Boxing suits me a lot. Boxing makes me feel independent and I chose to be a boxer not for self-defense but because it is a sport. I want to show everyone that women can be physically and mentally strong too,” she added.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu