The country’s archery has passed a remarkable 2019, with ace archer Roman Shana making headlines throughout the year, while other major sporting disciplines have continued to disappoint.
Shana made waves in the world of archery after becoming the first Bangladeshi to earn a podium finish at the Word Archery Championships, when he won the bronze medal in the men’s individual Recurve event in Netherlands in June.
His exploits at the event also earned him a direct entry to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, making him the first archer and overall second athlete from Bangladesh to directly qualify for the grandest athletics showcase in the world after golfer Siddikur Rahman did it in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In September, Shana won the coveted gold medal in the same event at the Asia Cup World Ranking Archery Tournament Stage 3 in Philippines.
Bangladesh won two more medals in the competition, winning silver in the men’s recurve team event and a bronze in the recurve mixed team events, while competing against the very best archery teams in Asia.
Archery’s fairy-tale run then continued in the 13th edition of the South Asian Games, held in Kathmandu, Nepal in December, where Bangladeshi archers displayed an unprecedented show of dominance, winning gold in all available 10 events.
The absence of main competitors India in archery definitely aided this gold surge and the archers also rescued Bangladesh’s otherwise underwhelming campaign in the Games.
Bangladesh ended the regional sporting meet with 19 gold medals, topping their previous best showing in SA Games in the 2010 Games in Dhaka where they won 18 gold medals, mainly with the aid of archery and two gold medals from men’s and women’s cricket, whereas other disciplines showed a grim picture.
Bangladesh couldn’t register a single gold medal in shooting only for the second time after 1991 Games, with star shooter Abdullah Hel Baki also settling for a bronze medal despite biggest competitors India not sending their star shooters in the Games.
Athletics, swimming, kabaddi ended the games without gold while in weightlifting Mabia Akhter didn’t disappoint, winning gold in the women’s 76kg category.
Lesser known disciplines like, karate, taekwondo and fencing outshone more established sports by bringing home the top prize in SA Games.
Country’s premier golfer Siddikur Rahman passed a better year, jumping 20 spots to finish the year as the 22nd ranked golfer in Asian tour rankings but he couldn’t win any tournament to top off his year.
In hockey, Mominul Haque Shaeed was elected as the Bangladesh Hockey Federation’s general secretary in April, but ghosted the organisation by September being embroiled in the casino scandal, leaving the federation in shambles.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany