UK boxer in line for Asian Games berth

Sudipta Ananda
Shamim Khan

Shamim Khan

The Bangladesh Boxing Federation is thinking to add a United Kingdom-based Bangladeshi boxer, Shamim Khan, to the Bangladesh squad for the forthcoming 17th Asian Games, officials said on Thursday.
During the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month the federation was made aware of the presence of boxer Shamim, a lance corporal in the British army, who is willing to represent his native Bangladesh.
The federation came to know that 29-year-old Shamim became champion in the 48kg weight category in the Inter-Unit Boxing Championship and was runner-up at the London Boxing Championship.
‘We made a contact with Shamim during the Commonwealth Games and he showed his interest in playing for Bangladesh,’ said Bangladesh Boxing Federation general secretary MA Kuddus Khan.
‘He has already sent his relevant documents and papers to us and we will submit them to the Bangladesh Olympic Association to take the final decision,’ Kuddus added. Not only Shamim, Kuddus Khan said they will keep the door open for all expatriate Bangladeshis who have the potential.
‘We know many expatriate Bangladeshis are doing boxing across the world. If anybody wants to represent Bangladesh we must give him a chance to prove himself,’ said Kuddus.
Boxing is the only event that gave Bangladesh an individual medal at the Asian Games when Mosharraf Hossain won a bronze in 1986 Seoul meet.
Since then the Bangladeshi boxers produced some results at the South Asian level but could not repeat the success in the Asian Games.
Recently boxing earned some attention from the sports administrators and was allowed to send a big team in the Commonwealth Games.
The Bangladeshi boxers, who took some specialised training from January, however, still could yield any result.
Bangladesh’s attempt to woo expatriate boxers is also nothing new.
In 2010, two UK-based Bangladeshi boxers named Brian Ahmed and Faruque Ahmed attended the trial in Bangladesh but could not impress the local coaches. Brian was knocked out in the first round against his Bangladeshi counterpart in the trial while Faruque was injured in a bout.
The federation still remained interested in expatriate athletes seeing the success of other federation.
Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation introduced US-based Syque Caesar, who won a gold medal in the Central Asian meet in 2010 before going on win a wild card to represent Bangladesh in the London Olympics.
Caeser impressed in London, though he was below-par in the Commonwealth Games.

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