• Thursday, May 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Archers on target, shooters and swimmers miss

  • Published at 11:02 pm December 10th, 2019
Scene from the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games in Kathmandu Tuesday Courtesy

The 10 out of 10 gold medals in archery from Ruman Shana, Ety Khatun and Co was the Bangladesh’s biggest achievement at the Games and contributed heavily to breaking national medal records, including for most gold medals on a single day and most gold medals in a single sport

Bangladeshi archers, cricketers and karatekas have given plenty of occasions to celebrate the country’s record gold medal-haul at the 13th South Asian Games. 

However, their success could not hide the country’s failure in other sports which used to contribute heavily to the gold tally of the regional sports extravaganza.

The 10 out of 10 gold medals in archery from Ruman Shana, Ety Khatun and Co was the Bangladesh’s biggest achievement at the Games and contributed heavily to breaking national medal records, including for most gold medals on a single day and most gold medals in a single sport.

Major reasons behind Bangladesh’s incredible success in archery at this edition include the provision of facilities at a separate venue of Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master Stadium in Tongi all year around, as well as participation in international events under the guidance of world-class coach Martin Frederick.

Another gold medal sweep for Bangladesh was recorded by the male and female cricketers, with Sri Lanka being the only opponents who put up significant resistance. 

Sri Lanka managed to make it a close-tie in the women’s final, but Bangladesh won the men’s final comfortably after losing the group stage encounter against the same opponents.

The karatekas returned in style in India’s absence, after the martial art had been excluded from the previous edition.

They could not match 2010’s total gold tally, but still performed admirably to win three gold medals. 

The weightlifters bagged two golds but faced less resistance from opponents than before. 

Bangladesh also won a gold medal each in taekwondo and fencing, highlighting the potential for future success.

Shooters and swimmers falter, miserable failure in field events

Bangladesh finished third out of the eight countries in the overall medal tally in Dhaka 2010, bagging a total 97 medals including 18 golds, 23 silvers and 56 bronzes. 

This time, they finished fifth out of seven, winning 19 golds, 33 silvers and 90 bronzes.

Bangladesh went into this year’s Games with high expectations for the shooters, as the likes of Saiful Alam Rinky, Atikur Rahman and Shahana Parvin won the country many gold medals in the 1990s.

However, the shooters only managed six silvers and four bronzes in this edition. 

Since shooting was included in the games, this is only the second time that Bangladesh has failed to win a gold medal, with the other in 2006.

Expectations were also high for the swimmers, as Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubur Rahman dominated the pool at the SA Games in the ‘80s, and Mizanur Rahman did the same in the ‘90s. 

This time, the swimmers only managed three silvers and eight bronzes in 38 events.

Bangladesh failed miserably in athletics and field events this year, and the high altitude of Nepal may have played a crucial role. 

Sprinters Jahir Rayhan and Abu Taleb could not even participate in their main events, as Bangladesh failed to win any medals on the athletics track. 

The country managed just a silver in the high jump, and a bronze in the long jump.

The men’s football team failed to meet expectations raised by their performance in the World Cup qualifiers, losing two SA Games matches, drawing one and winning one. 

The kabadi team finished fourth, but was still awarded a bronze medal.  

Both men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball teams failed to even reach the semifinals, and the handball team won only a bronze. 

There was also no medal for Bangladesh in cycling, tennis or squash.

Bangladesh Olympic Association Secretary General Syed Shahed Reza said: “We were close to meeting expectations. We had poor results in some disciplines, but we are not disappointed. There were some events where we expected gold but ended up with silver. Our silver medals doubled compared to before. We lost some gold medals by small margins; otherwise it would have been even better.

“Everybody tried to exceed the Dhaka Games. We have to identify some sports. Priorities should be given to those events where we won gold. There are around 22-25 gold events in every martial art. If we give importance to these sports and provide more training opportunities then we can win 40-45 gold,” he added.

“We don’t have infrastructure and facilities like other countries. If we can bring all sports to one place and keep and train all athletes under the same roof, then we will definitely do well. After such success this time, now we can sit with the government and find a way so that the players don’t face any problems practicing,” the BOA secretary general further said.

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