The 3rd edition of Gyalchen Karma Thrinlay Archery Tournament, also known as Mem Gelong archery tournament, was inaugurated on Monday at Betsateng ground Khirmu in Tawang. The tournament was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner of Tawang, Kesang Ngurup Damo, and Superintendent of Police Tawang, Bomge Kamduk.
A total of 28 teams are participating in the tournament, which will culminate on March 13, 2023. In the inaugural match, Khirmu archery club and Namet gentlemen shooters competed in target group A, with the former scoring 4 points and the latter scoring 1 point. In target group B, Lhou Yonta mento team faced off against Bigha shooters, with the latter scoring 6 points and Lhou team scoring only 1 point.
DC Tawang, in his address to the players, stressed the importance of preserving archery as a part of Tawang's tradition and encouraging younger generations above 10 years of age, irrespective of sex, to take up the sport and receive professional training to become expert shooters and participate in national and international events.
The tournament is named after Gyalchen Karma Thrinlay, the protector deity of Tawang. The chairman of the Khirmu archery competition, Tenzin Dargey, explained that the tournament was first organised in 2021 during the Lossar festival on the advice of the oracle of Gyalchen Karma Thrinlay Kuten Pasang Tsering. In the first year, Thunlam team lifted the cup, while in 2022, team Damgyin won the tournament.
The tournament is expected to draw large crowds of archery enthusiasts, as well as those interested in Tawang's rich cultural heritage.
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