Azharul Islam Khan, widely known as the king of discus throw, introduced him from track and field to coaching in the ongoing inaugural Bangladesh Youth Games.
Azhar won 32 gold medals at national level in his 25-year long career, with the last one coming in the last edition of National Athletics Championships when he broke his own record.
After achieving much recognition in his long career and seeing no one coming to challenge him at the of 47, now Azhar decided to concentrate on working with some budding talents in different sectors of country’s sports.
Azhar built a body-building club in his home district Kishorgonj named Super Star Body Building Gym, which took 12 athletes to weightlifting and athletics disciplines in Youth Games.
Under Azhar’s guidance discus thrower Mahmudul Hasan Sawon managed gold medal for Dhaka division on Tuesday while two of his students won silver medals in two weight categories of weightlifting.
‘It is a great feeling for me to see some of my students shining in the Youth Games,’ Azhar told New Age on Wednesday.
‘I have been dominating in the discus throw for the last 24 years and found very little contenders in this event which concerned me a lot.’
Azhar said he and veteran athletics coach Faruqul Islam created the club last year only to nurture the raw talents.
‘I have received everything from sports and I have some responsibility to serve the country’s sports,’ Azhar said.
‘When we created the club in Kishorgonj, we decided to pick those athletes, who got talents to succeed at the national level.
‘In my district, most of the athletes come from a very poor background so we have to train them without any cost.’
Azhar expressed his joy when Shawon managed gold medal in the discus throw event.
‘In the track and field events, most of the BKSP students dominated but in the discus throw my student Shawon showed his ability with only one-month training under my supervision,’ said a proud Azhar, who said he has some real talents in the weightlifting too.
‘Two of my students Saidur Rahman Rocky and Marjia Akter Ekra managed silver medals in their respective weight categories. Most interestingly we gave them the basic knowledge of weightlifting just one month ago.’
Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation provided special opportunities to some young lifters to compete in the final phase of the Youth Games directly considering their talent.
Azhar took that opportunity and sent 20 students to a month-long training camp organised by the federation in Mymensingh.
‘Our selected weightlifters were given a chance to join a training camp in Mymensingh and they showed their ability there and Dhaka division picked five boys and six girls from our club to compete in the Games,’ Azhar said.
‘I believe if the talented athletes get proper coaching then they will represent the country’s flag in future.’
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