Saiful springs surprise in Summer Athletics

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Jul 22,2017

 
 

Saiful Islam Khan of Bangladesh Jail celebrates after winning gold medal in the 200-metre sprint of the 13th Summer Athletics at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday. — New Age photo

Saiful Islam Khan of Bangladesh Jail put behind country’s fastest man Mezbah Ahmed and other rivals to win gold medal in 200-metre sprint of the 13th Summer Athletics that began at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.
In the women’s 200metre sprint, Sohagi Akter of Bangladesh Navy also won her first gold medal in the summer meet to go with the gold medal she won in last year’s National Athletic Championship.
The Bangladesh Krira Sikkha Pratisthan student took 21.60 seconds to finish his race ahead of Shariful of Bangladesh Army and Mezbah of Bangladesh Navy, who finished second and third respectively.
Shariful clocked 21.80 seconds and while Mezbah was left content with 22.00 seconds.
‘I am really happy to win the first gold medal in my second meet at senior level,’ said 18-year old athlete Saiful, who set two junior national records in 100-metre and 200-metre sprint in 2015.
Saiful, who passed his Secondary School Certificate this year, took only one-month preparation for the meet.
‘I had some doubt whether I would get a good result because I started the training late after finishing the SSC examination,’ said the athlete.
Saiful said that his participation in last month’s 2nd Asian Youth Athletic Championship Qualifying in Thailand also helped him to do well in this championship.
‘I took 22.50 seconds [electronic timing] in the heat of the Asian Youth meet to qualify for the 200m semi-finals that helped me deliver my best here.’
In the women’s section, Sohagi Akter bagged the gold medal with a timing of 25.10 seconds while Bangladesh Jail athletes Zakia Sultana and Ayesha Akter finished second and third clocking 25.60 and 25.90 seconds respectively.
Sohagi said she had won gold medals in 400-metre sprint in all top-level medals since 2014 and gradually improved her timing also in the 200-metre.
Her job also became easier after her team-mate and current fastest women of the country, Shirin Akter pulled out.
Meanwhile, Sazib Hossain of Bangladesh Navy shone once again in men’s high-jump event as the national record holder beat his team-mate Mahfuzur Rahman after clearing 1.95-metre.
Sazib, the South Asian Games silver medallist in 2010, said it was his 18th gold medal since 2007 in the national level competitions, which included National Meet and Summer Meet.
‘This is my 10th year in a senior meet and I set a personal target of making it memorable,’ said Sazib, who only lost twice in last 10 years - in 2014 Summer Meet and last year’s National meet respectively.
In the day’s other events, Mohammad Al Amin (1500-metre), Sumi Akter (1500metre), Irin Akter (Long Jump), Shrabani Mallik (Shotput), Mohammad Nuruzzaman (marathon) Mohammad Alamgir (400m) won gold medals for their respective teams.
The two-day long competition will end today. 

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