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Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Bhutan’s archer Karma waits to challenge Deepika Kumari | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 24, 2021

For a nation that measures welfare through happiness, Bhutanese are happiest shooting arrows in the sun.
Known as ‘Dha’ in the Himalayan kingdom, archery, their national sport, holds unique significance for the population and is an integral part of its cultural legacy.
Bhutan is poised to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, but curiously, the country has competed in every Olympic archery tournament since Los Angeles 1984. The little rider being that they always received universality invitations. Universality invitations are awarded to smaller or developing sporting nations to ensure diversity at the Games. With the number of these tickets being reduced from three per gender at Rio 2016 to two at Tokyo, there was no certainty that Bhutan would continue to receive a free quota.
This time, though, there was something different in store for the Himalayan nation. Archer Karma became the first-ever athlete from the country to get an Olympic quota spot in any sport. She booked her berth in women’s individual recurve competition during the Asian continental qualification tournament in Bangkok in 2019.
Karma will face India’s ace archer Deepika Kumari in the first round of the women’s individual event at the Yumenoshima Park on July 28. On Friday, Karma scored a total of 616 (personal best) in the women’s individual ranking round, finishing 56th, while Deepika finished 9th with a score of 663.
“I have worked really hard and trained daily – both physically and mentally – since the time I qualified for the Olympics,” says Karma, a member of Bhutan’s four-member contingent for the Tokyo Games. “Getting the quota spot has motivated me to train more and harder.”
It is not that Karma will be participating at the Olympics for the first time. In 2016, she received one of the universality invitations for the Rio Games. She also went on to be the flagbearer for Bhutan in the opening ceremony in 2016.
“Every athlete in the world dreams to be on the grandest stage of all, and that’s the Olympics. I consider myself to be lucky to have got this opportunity twice in my life,” the 31-year-old says.
It will be interesting to watch whether Karma gives Bhutan – a country known for its Gross National Happiness index – more to cheer about from the Tokyo Games.

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