Bangladesh: Dream of Olympics comes true by wild card 2008-07-30 14:05:22   Print

Special report:   2008 Olympic Games     

    by Xinhua writer Huang Yanan

    DHAKA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- It is a dream for every athlete who has qualified for the Olympics to get medals, but for the Bangladeshi athletes who go to the games by wild cards, participation and trying best to get good results are the most important.

    After the country's independence in 1971, no Bangladeshi athlete has ever qualified for the Olympics. In order to broaden the participation in the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) provides some wild cards to those countries whose athletes have failed to get any qualification.

    Bangladesh applied for 6 wild cards for the upcoming Beijing Olympics. The IOC only gave the country five, while inviting one female shooter, Sharmin, to watch the Games as a spectator.

    Bangladesh sent observers to the Olympics in 1976 and has been sending athletes to contest at the Games by wild cards since Atlanta 1996.

    The five wild cards for the Beijing Games include 2 for swimming,2 for track and field, and 1 for shooting.

    In Bangladesh, most of the athletes are not professionals and therefore have no salary. They are students or employees and only get training in their spare time.

    The Bangladeshi sports largely lack international competitiveness, as the country is short of sports facilities and the athletes often lack sponsorship or systematic training.

    Many athletes said training, championships and medals give them more spiritual reward than the material one, because they don't get much bonus even if they win a gold medal at international games.

    Nazrul Islam Rumee, chief coach of Bangladesh's national athletic team, told Xinhua in a recent interview that although Bangladeshi athletes suffer from poor facilities and train with no salary or nutritious food, they still work very hard and prepare with their best efforts for every major games they could take part in.

    Islam said that he would take one male and one female athletes to the Beijing Olympics. The two athletes, Abu Abdullah and Nahar Beauty, will contest in the 100-meter sprint.

    Abdullah and Nahar said they hope they can break their own records in Beijing.

    According to Islam, Abdullah's personal record stands at 10.3 seconds and Nahar's at 11.6, both recorded by a hand timer and maybe not so accurate.

    The coach said the wild cards give Bangladeshi athletes an opportunity not only to contest at the Olympics, but also to make friends and share experience with athletes from other parts of the world.

    He believed the Bangladeshi athletes will learn a lot from the Olympics and will be inspired to further improve themselves.

    It will be the first time for Abdullah and Nahar to participate in the Olympics, something they both feel very excited at and proud of.

    Shoyeb Uzzaman, a rifle coach with the Bangladesh Shooting Federation, will take one shooter, Imam Hossoin, to the Beijing Olympics. Hossoin will compete in the men's 10-meter rifle event.

    Hossoin said he hoped he could get a result of 588 to 590 rings at the Games.

    Doli and Bubel Rana will join the swimming competition in Beijing. Doli, a young girl, also competed at the Sydney and Athens Games.

    Doli said she is very proud to be a three-time Olympian. "I hope I can get good results and also gain more experience from the Beijing Games," she said.

    With "One World, One Dream" as the theme of the Beijing Olympics, there is also one dream shared by all participating Bangladeshi athletes, that is one day they could all go to the Olympic Games as a qualified athlete.

Editor: An
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