Monday, June 24, 2024

Bangladesh’s record haul

Bangladesh ended their campaign of the 11th SA Games Dhaka 2010 winning 18 gold medals, the highest haul in the 26-year history of South Asian Games.
The hosts grabbed four gold medals on the penultimate day including two in boxing and one each in football and wushu to seal the third position in medals’ tally, an unprecedented instance.
The Bangladesh Olympic Association had expected to win maximum 17 gold medals, but the athletes showed that they were capable of doing even better. Bangladesh’s successes came despite their failures in two key disciplines – athletics and swimming. Incidentally this was for the first time that Bangladesh did not win any gold in the pool and track and field events.
Bangladesh’s female athletes, did an excellent job to win medals in the Games and made the nation proud even though they are less than half (101) in numbers compared to the male contingent (231). The female athletes won 8 gold medals comparing to the 10 earned by their male teammates.
Bangladesh football team failed to reach the semifinals in the last two editions but this time they not only emerged as the gold medallists but also won all matches. Footballers put an icing on the cake when they thrashed Afghanistan 4-0 in the final to win the SA Games gold for only the second time in their history. Bangladesh had won their previous SA Games football gold in the 1999 Katmandu Games. The final was surprisingly a one-sided affair with Bangladesh scoring two goals in each half to register the biggest victory in any final of an international competition. Afghanistan, who were also unbeaten before the final, probably could not show their usual performance in a front of a roaring packed partisan crowd.
The footballers’ success came a day after the host cricket team beat Sri Lanka by six runs to win the gold. The victory in football and cricket mean that they would earn Taka 15 lakh each as incentive as announced by the prime minister Sheikh Hasina three days before the start of the Games. The prime minister announced an incentive of Taka 15 lakh each for winning football, cricket and hockey events. However, hockey despite drawing with India ultimately had to remain content with the bronze medal.
Hamidul Islam provided the country the first touch of gold in the weightlifting event of 77 Kg to initiate the gold hunt.
Golf proved to be a gold winning discipline for the hosts as Bangladesh’s Dulal Hossain won the individual gold outshining favourite Jamal Hossain, who won Dhaka-leg of  Indian Professional Circuit last year.
Dulal and Jamal teamed up with  Md Shakhawat Hossain Sohel and Md Jakiruzzaman Jakir to lift the team gold. Here one should praise the patriotism of Sohel who went on to play for his team despite losing his father 15 minutes before the start of the event.
Jewel Ahmed Jony and Abdur Rahim, the two golden boxers won their battles to present the hosts two gold medals in less than half-an-hour on the penultimate day of the meet.
Karate the relatively unpopular sports of the country stunned the SA Games arena presenting four gold medals. The men’s team comprising Hasan Khan Sun, Hossain Khan Moon and Syed Nuruzzaman won the kata (team) gold while under 45 Kumite gold was won by Mariam Khatun Bipasha. Women’s kata (individual) gold was grabbed by Jaw-U- Pru-Marma. Later Jaw U teamed with Munni Khanam and U-Sainu- Mara to win the team kata gold.
Shooting the traditional gold providing discipline of Bangladesh provided three gold medals with the titles of both individual and team event women’s 10 metre air rifle. Individual event was won by Sharmin Akhter Ratna. Later Ratna teamed with Syeda Sadia Sultana and Tripti Dutta to bag the team gold.
Asif Hossain Khan, Abdulla-hel-Baki and Shovon Chowdhury presented the gold of men’s 10 M air rifle gold. Asif, who carried the national flag at the Games opening and closing ceremony, failed to win his favourite individual 10 metre air rifle gold as he fumbled in his final shoot.
Taekwondo also made the country proud with the gold of U- 46 Kg women’s event with Sharmin Farjana Rumi arriving as the winner while Shammi Akter grabbing the title of the U-49 kg women’s.
Wushu the Chinese version martial art, arrived as another success story as Nan Quan (All round event) was won by Mesbahuddin while Under – 52 kg category gold was grabbed by Etee Islam. This was for the first time that wushu had been included in the Games.

Courtesy of The Independent

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