For two consecutive days, Bangladesh had to remain content with handful of silver and bronze medals in the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu when rival countries continued their gold hunt in every nook and corner of Nepal capital.
The four gold medals they won in the first three days gave the athletes and the officials of Bangladesh a sense of satisfaction before the sporting frailties of the country were badly exposed in some of the key disciplines.
Bangladesh is all but certain to end three consecutive SA Games without any gold from athletics while things looked gloomy in shooting, where Bangladesh’s best shooter Abdullah Hel Baki had to settle with bronze medal in his favourite 10-metre air rifle event.
Bangladesh women’s kabaddi team lost to Nepal for the first time in their history a day earlier and reported to have created a scene before Bangladesh women’s handball team suffered their maiden SA Games loss to host Nepal on Thursday.
While kabaddi officials vented their anger overtly, Bangladesh Handball Federation blamed only their coach for the shocking Nepal defeat by 26-24 points, despite leading the home side by 13-12 points in the first half.
Bangladesh Handball Federation general secretary Asaduzzaman Kohinoor, who is also Bangladesh’s chef de mission in the Games, was not at all surprised by Bangladesh’s underwhelming show in the meet.
‘Sports need huge investment for development. As long as we cannot do this we will continue to lag behind,’ said Kohinoor. ‘We are lucky that this meet is being held now. If it was delayed by another two years our results would have been even poorer.’
Bangladesh’s biggest disappointment on Thursday was perhaps the result of shooter Abdullah Hel Baki, who had to remain satisfied with bronze in both team and individual events of men’s 10m air rifle, an event which had long been Bangladesh’s signature event.
Baki said he gave his best shot in the SA Games, even better than his performance in 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, where he won silver medal, yet he could not overtake Indian rivals.
‘My main target was to give my full effort in the final. I feel that I have given my 100 per cent,’ he said
‘Actually I have got my best score here in all of my finals in the Games. I have scored more points here than in earlier Games. In the Commonwealth Games it was 6.7, in the 2014 Commonwealth Games it was 5.6. In Baku [in Islamic solidarity Games], I got 7 point something. Here I scored 8. In that sense, I think I have scored well in the final,’ he said.
Baki held his poor luck as he was in pole position several times in the event.
‘I was first in the rankings. I was in gold position multiple times. Even after the 20th shot, I had a three-point lead. My last shots were 10.1 and 10. Those two shots cost me dearly even though the shot wasn’t too bad.’
‘If it was a very bad shot, then I would have accepted it. But it was 10. So I don’t think it needs to be calculated too much,’ said Baki, who still has chance to redeem himself in mixed 10m air rifle event.
Unlike Baki, Bangladesh women’s shooting team have little regret for missing gold in women’s 50m rifle three position, where Atkia Hasan Disha, Sharmin Akter Ratna and Zakia Sultana Tumpa won silver medals.
It was one of the five silver medals for Bangladesh with the remaining three coming respectively in weightlifting and wushu.
Rajkumar Roy won silver medal in the men’s 55kg weight category weightlifting by lifting 184kg while in the same weight category of women, Fulpoti Chakma won silver by lifting 148kg.
Bangladesh’s other two silver medals of the day came through wushu’s Marjina Akter and Sajib Hossain.
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