Thinley Wangmo becomes Under-19 Badminton Champ

True to the expectation of many, a class 12 passed student of Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School, Thinley Wangmo, emerged winner in the Woman’s Final Badminton Championship (U-19) held in Phuentsholing last week after winning four matches in a row.

The 18-year-old champ credits her success to her parents and coaches who have been supporting her. “I would like to thank all of them. My parents were always supportive and my coaches. I am always indebted to them for where I am and hope they will be with me always,” she said.

“It’s a proud moment for me as I have won,” says Thinley Wangmo with a smile.

Meanwhile, Thinley said she developed passion for badminton since her childhood days.

The winner from Garzhikha of Bjena Gewog in Wangduephodrang had earlier also participated and won in inter-school  badminton tournament, regional tournaments in two categories, junior categories in Class 9 and 10, and senior categories in Class 11 and 12.

Thinley Wangmo has also been participating in international level tournaments for two years. She started to represent her school from Class 9 till 12 and reached till the national level tournaments. She also represented Bhutan in junior category after training in Guwahati, India, in Nepal 2017. She also took part in the Yonex Sunrise Bangladesh International Challenge last year and reached till the Quarter Final (junior U-19 category).

Meanwhile, Thinley idolizes Carolina Maria Marin Martin, a Spanish professional badminton player and the reigning Olympic Champion and former World Number 1 in Badminton World Federation.

“I like her way of playing and want to become like her in future. Of course it’s hard. I will try my best,” she says positively.

Thinley feels that there is better scope for women in sports as Bhutanese women are not so forthcoming unlike in other countries.

“We, women, feel incompetent. It’s a new era and we have to come forward as not much women have excelled in badminton at the international arena,” she said, adding that the government has been supportive and she has always received the best support from the government and coaches.      

The 18-year-old champ told Business Bhutan that she practices a few hours daily and more during the weekend. “I have to balance the timing which should not hamper my studies,” she said.

Thinley says she will continue to play badminton, while also continuing her education.

Meanwhile, coach Sherab Gyeltshen described Thinley Wangmo as a sincere and hardworking player, who is always hungry for success. “We hope that she will go further in this sport,” he added.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing