In the city for the second time after a gap of 20 years, Bhutan Crown Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck says he loves shooting and believes this is one sport which can push his country to the pedestal of glory in the world of sport

The Crown Prince of Bhutan, Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, was the cynosure of all eyes not just for his simplicity but for trying his hand at the 300-m big bore event at the National shooting championship at the Lake Line Ranges in Yapral near here on Tuesday.

In the city for the second time after a gap of 20 years when his mother was here and specifically for this event, the Bhutan royal family member insisted that he loved shooting and sincerely believed that apart from archery, this was one sport which could push his country to the pedestal of glory in the world of sport.

Olympic dream?

Does he have a dream of himself taking part in Olympics?

“Oh! That is a long way off. Let me first see how I fare in my first ever competition of this magnitude (in the city),” he said with a smile.

A passionate shooter himself, Wangchuk delighted the select audience with his commitment, intense desire to try a series of shots in the ranges with National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh and vice-president Amit Sanghi helping him out.

What clearly struck the shooting fraternity was Wangchuk’s modesty.

For instance, when asked how he compared shooting back home with Indian standards, he was quick to reply: “A light-year difference. Pointing to the Yapral ranges, he said: “In fact, we have a very small range of 25 m and 50 m and not anyone of this kind also.”

Emphasis on sports

Interestingly, the Crown Prince is also the president of the National Olympic Committee in Bhutan. “Yes, we are focusing on 15 disciplines with emphasis on individual sports. We are looking forward to a long-standing sporting partnership with India, too,” he said.

“The biggest challenge for us to promote shooting in a big way is the lack of coaches and facilities. We need a platform to build up,” Wangchuk added.

NRAI chief Raninder said there would be joint training sessions for shooters from Bhutan with Indians in coordination with the Sports Authority of India.

“We have a special relationship. The Crown Prince will also visit the Gachibowli ranges during his current visit,” he said.

Like many of the distinguished guests, this Crown Prince, too, was briefed about the famous Hyderabadi biryani. “Yes, I have heard about it. Very keen to taste it,” Wangchuk said.

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