Azharul Islam of Bangladesh Navy defied age barrier to clinch his 32nd gold medal in discus throw at national level with a new national record on the opening day of the 41st National Athletics Championship on Friday.
Azharul, the 47-year old athlete, covered 44.37-metre to break his own record of 44.06-metre that he set in 2006.
Azharul put two Bangladesh Army’s athletes Kamalakanto Roy and Mamun Shikder behind to set the new record.
Azharul, whose best performance came in the 2010 South Asian Games in Dhaka where he covered 44.98-metre for bronze, made his breakthrough at national level in 1995 and won bronze medal.
Since 1997 to 2017 Azharul won gold medals in discus throw at national level in every year except 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, he represented Bangladesh in UN peacekeeping mission in Congo while in 2013 he lost the gold to Mamun Miah in the Bangladesh Games due to lack of preparation.
Azharul believed that he can still win the SA Games gold if he can get a long-term training.
‘As I set new national record without any assistance from anyone, I believe if I get all kind of facilities and a long-term training I have the ability to win SA Games gold medal,’ said Azharul.
‘I want to continue my career for at least five more years because I am still the best thrower of the country.’
The first day of three-day long meet also saw country’s fastest woman sprinter Shirin Akter’s dominance in the 200-metre sprint.
Shirin of Bangladesh Navy managed the gold medal in the 200-metre sprint after clocking 25.56 seconds as she beat Susmita Gosh and Borsha Khatun both were represented Bangladesh Army.
Shirin, who last won the 200-metre gold in 2015, didn’t take part in this event of the last national meet and summer meet to give more emphasis on the 100-metre sprint.
Shirin claimed that she didn’t take any preparation for the 200-metre sprint.
‘Actually I had no plan to participate in 200-metresprint but my organisation [Navy] told me to take part so the timing was not that good,’ said Shirin, who will enter the track to win her sixth gold medal at national level on Sunday.
‘My main event is 100-metre and I have the target of improving my timing in this competition as I set my best timing in last year’s SA Games, which was 11.99 seconds.’
In the men’s 200-metre sprint, Abdur Rouf of Bangladesh Navy managed the gold medal beating reigning gold medallist Shariful Islam of Bangladesh Army.
Rouf, who took part in the last national meet for the first time and surprised all by winning the silver medal, clocked 21.90 seconds to secure the gold medal while Sharif took 22.05 seconds to be content with silver medal.
Saiful Islam Khan of Bangladesh Jail managed bronze medal in this event.
The 25-year old athlete, who represented Bangladesh in the fourth edition of Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku this year, said his main target is to win the gold medal in 100-metre sprint.
Bangladesh Athletics Federation use their electronic timers for the first time after 2011 in this meet.
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