By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 1: In yet another instance of new generation of Tibetans excelling in the field of sports, Wangden Namshi, a 20-year-old Swiss-based Tibetan was crowned Swiss Champion in Muay Thai.
Wangden, who lives in Canton, St. Gallen in Switzerland, earned the invitation for the 63.5 KG Swiss Championship match against defending Champion Michael Dekanic on Sept 24 following his victory in 63 KG category professional fight against Kevin Zvizdic, 2015 WFC K1 Swiss Champion on April 3.
Wangden kept his opponent at bay for the better part of the tittle match and the judges unanimously ruled the tittle match in his favor.
Cheers flowed thick and fast as his accomplishment set the social media abuzz within the Tibetan community scattered across the globe.
Wangden’s commitment to the sport took him all the way to Thailand, the nation that gave birth to the exciting yet risky sport, for a month-long rigorous training.
“My journey into the ring of Muay Thai started four years ago. The sport not just disciplines you but it keeps you healthy as well. My passion towards the sport and the exuberance I get after sweating like a pig in the ring during training and fight made me fall in love with the sport,” the young champion disclosed.
“The sport means strictly business in Thailand with eight hours of intense training a day. People across the world come there for training. It played a key role in my journey thus far. Apart from the training, the relatively cheap expenses and beautiful places in the country left a deep imprint in my heart”, the Muay Thai champion revealed.
Although he shies away from being called the champion, he always enters the arena wearing the Tibetan flag and poses proudly for the shutterbugs after his bouts to spread awareness about the plight of Tibet and China’s illegal occupation of Tibet.
“Being Tibetan and winning the Swiss Championship gave me a high,” stated the young Tibetan fighter jubilantly.
The champion credits Vejseli brothers, his coaches, who trains him for six days a week at their kampfsportscentre gym in St. Gallen for his achievement.
Wangden has a politically significant tattoo inked on his chest by Tibetan artist Tamding during the later’s political tattoo campaign. The words ‘Tibetans shall be happy in the land of Tibet, and Chinese in the land of China’ inked on his chest has also been inscribed on the stone pillar after the Sino-Tibetan peace treaty in 821-822 AD. It bears testimony to the fact that Tibet is a separate and independent nation from china, he reasoned.
With the Swiss 63.5 category tittle in his kitty and accolades he received on social media, he has now set his eyes on the European Championship and ultimately on the International Championship.
“Taking up sports requires persistence and determination; success can’t be achieved overnight. Not just Muai Thai, every sports keeps us healthy and disciplines us. Hard work and endurance pay dividends,” Wangden said encouraging fellow Tibetans to take up sports.
Apart from being a successful fighter, Wangden is also a trained expert in Operation Maintenance.