The federation wants to increase their medal winning chances in December’s South Asian Games in Nepal after getting close to recruiting a new foreign trainer, South African sprint and hurdles coach Godwin Odinukaeze, who is due to arrive in Dhaka by September 15
The Bangladesh Athletics Federation has finalized the national team’s South Asian Games 24-member squad, bringing in nine new athletes from the recently concluded National Summer Athletics as their training camp resumes at BKSP in Savar Thursday.
The federation wants to increase their medal winning chances in December’s SA Games in Nepal after getting close to recruiting a new foreign trainer, South African sprint and hurdles coach Godwin Odinukaeze, who is due to arrive in Dhaka by September 15.
Athletics’ SA Games preparation began on July 15 with 26 athletes, out of which 11 couldn’t make it to the final 24-man squad, comprising 14 male and 10 female athletes.
A total of nine new athletes replaced them in the camp following the National Summer Athletics 2019.
The camp is guided by five coaches – Abdullah Hel Kafi, Matiur Alam, Foujia Hossain Jui, Mahbuba Hossain Beily and Farid Khan Chowdhury.
Prominent high-jump coach Nazrul Islam Rumi is also set to join as adviser.
“The summer athletics was like a final trial for the SA Games. We finalized the 24-man squad for the upcoming Games. We found some new faces for the camp from the summer event, including Saiful Islam Khan Sunny (200m sprint), Rokibul Hasan (100m), Shariful Islam (400m and 4*100 relay), Sohel Rana (triple jump), Abdur Rouf (4*100m relay), Masud Khan (110 hurdles and 4*100 relay), Masud Rana (4*400 relay), Plaboni Haq (high jump) and Sharmin Akter Lota (long jump),” said BAF general secretary Abdur Rokib Montu.
Montu also informed that they have reached a verbal agreement with Godwin, the 51-year old former coach of Al Ain Sports Club in the United Arab Emirates, to begin his Bangladesh tenure starting from September 15.
“Currently he (Godwin) is in Dubai, trying to get the visa to come to Dhaka as soon as possible. The deal is not finalized yet but we hope to complete the procedure once he is here. We want him for only three months until the SA Games due to the limitation of our budget. But we will consider extending the contract later if we find a way,” said Montu.
Bangladesh athletics won only a couple of bronzes in the women’s 4*100 and 4*400 relay events in the last SA Games in 2016.
Montu also talked about their chances of winning more medals in the upcoming Games, scheduled to be held in Nepal from December 1-10.
“We have high hope with Mahfuzur (Rahman) in high jump. He did really good to set a new national record with 2.15m timing while 2016 SA Games gold medalist (Manjula Kumara of Sri Lanka) took 2.17m. Renowned coach Rumi agreed to share his expertise and guide the high-jumpers including another record holder Umme Hafsa Rumki,” said Montu, who also relayed hope on Jahir Rayhan in the 400m sprint and the 4*100 men’s relay team.