The first ever outdoor rubber synthetic track in the country was inaugurated on Wednesday coinciding with Losar at the Lungtenzampa field stadium, Thimphu by the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) and Bhutan Amateur Athletic Federation (BAAF).
Program officer, Biju Pradhan of BOC, said he hoped that Bhutanese athletes would be benefitted by the track and it would boost up their athletic caliber to international levels.
He also added that since Bhutan is above 2,000 meters above sea level, BOC is planning to make the country a centre for sports training since it has the advantage of altitude.
“We hope to get some professional trainers to improve Bhutanese athletes,” he said.
The synthetic rubber track costs around USD 260,000, and is funded by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), and BOC.
An official from BOC, Karma Dorji, said, “It is an addition to our infrastructure, it is in line with our strategic road map,” adding that “we need to remind ourselves of the challenges we face and the need to accomplish our vision of excellence through sports .”
A student of Motithang Higher Secondary School, Kinley, said that he is immensely happy about the inauguration of the track and hopes to practice until he excels. “I think it is an opportunity and I will definitely make the best use of it hereafter.”
BAAF held discussions with the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) about opening the track for national athletic championship in July this year. But the local government elections led to postponement of the event, according to the general secretary of BAAF, Dorji Tenzin.