Fencing player Fatima Mujib gave herself a nice birthday present when she won the first-ever gold medal for Bangladesh from the sport in the 13th SA Games in Kathmandu on Saturday.
Fatima celebrated her 20th birthday on the day but she did not reveal it until she won the gold medal in women’s individual sabre event by beating Nepali competitor Rabina Thapa.
‘I didn’t say it to anyone that it’s my birthday. I planned to reveal it only if I win gold,’ Fatima told reporters in Kathmandu.
Fatima brought the combat game played with a sword with the players’ body covered by white jacket suddenly in a spotlight by winning the gold medal after it was included in SA Games for the first time.
The game was introduced in Bangladesh only in 2007 and had rarely competed in international meets, with organisers unsure of its prospect.
Fatima, who never played outside home before coming to SA Games, said she was inspired by her brother Saddam Mujib, a member of Bangladesh Navy to take up the sport.
‘Fencing is royal game, where girls wear full dress, so no problem for me and I love this,’ said Fatima, who took the sport in 2013 and won four gold medals in national competitions.
Fatima, who trained under a Cambodian coach for the last four months, said she had no short of confidence about winning gold medal though she rarely spoke about it publicly.
‘I was confident of winning gold because I play well,’ said Fatima. ‘The weather here is different but I still had the belief. I beat Sri Lanka in the league phase before outplaying two Indian fencers and beat Nepal in the final.
‘I’m really proud to win Bangladesh’s first gold in fencing. This is my best moment of my career,’ said Fatima, who is hailed from Habiganj and completed her SSC examination from Bangladesh Open University.
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