Lifters watch neighbours in awe

Sudipta Ananda . Gold Coast | Published: 00:05, Apr 08,2018

 
 

Bangladesh’s Mabia Aktar Simanta competes in the women’s 63kg weightlifting event of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday. — Reuters photo

The newly constructed multi-sports venue Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre in Gold Coast appeared to be a celebration point for sub-continental countries in Commonwealth Games on Saturday, except for Bangladesh.
While India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan all began their medal haul at the venue through weightlifting Bangladesh could only watch them in awe with no notable performance in five events where they had competed.
India shone with five medals, including three gold medals and one silver and one bronze while Sri Lanka bagged one silver and two bronze medals to make their presence felt.
Pakistan, another sub-continental country, also wrote their name in the medals tally with one bronze medal.
Bangladesh, who once could provide a tough challenge to the neighbours in regional meet like SA Games, but they came nowhere close to them in bigger platform, which only exposed their destituteness.
‘We came here with only six months of training while the Indians and Sri Lankan’s took six and four years of training respectively. So how can we desire medal from our lifters,’ asked Bangladesh weightlifting coach Bidyut Kumar Roy.
‘I still believe we have the ability to win medal from such stage if we can give the lifters a bit more support.’
The 2016 South Asian Games gold medallist Mabia Akter Simanta carried the best hope for Bangladesh among five lifters but she could finish only sixth out of 13 participants in the women’s 63-kg weight category.
Simanta, who lifted a total 180-kg which was her career best, blamed the lack of facilities behind her poor performance.
‘We didn’t get that facility from either government or the federation,’ said Simanta.
‘For example, the Olympic [Bangladesh Olympic Association] provided us Tk 6,000 to buy our dress and costume, which is a peanut compared to our need. You have to spend Tk 40,000 to Tk 50,000 to buy a lifting boot alone.
Simanta, who beat Sri Lankan and Indian lifters to win the SA Games gold medal two years ago, claimed she had ability to win medal from Commonwealth Games level if she was given proper patronisation.
‘It’s unfair to seek medal from us when you give us only Tk 600 daily for food. We felt embarrassed when we came to know about the facilities that the lifters from other countries get’, added Simanta.
Simanta turned emotional when she finished her event without being able to make a podium finish.
‘I know everyone expected a good performance from my side but I’m really sorry for not being able to fulfil their wish,’ she said.

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