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The karate girls

  • Published at 09:32 pm December 3rd, 2019
Karate
A new generation of karate girls – Humaira Akhter Antara and Marzan Akter Priya – lived up to the karate girls’ legacy by winning a couple of golds in style at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu Tuesday Courtesy

Humair Akhter Antara and Marzan Akter Priya will be aiming for more golds when the karate duo participate in the women’s team kumite event, on the last day of the karate events Wednesday

When Bangladesh won four gold medals in karate at the South Asian Games 2010 in Dhaka, as many as three of them were bagged by the karate girls – Jaw-U-Prue and Moreom Khatun in individual events and Munni Khanom and U Chainu Marma in the team event.

After a gold drought in 2016, a new generation of karate girls – Humaira Akhter Antara and Marzan Akter Priya – lived up to the karate girls’ legacy by winning a couple of golds in style at the 13th SAG in Kathmandu Tuesday.

Priya is a first-year university student, studying fine arts at Jagannath University. 

On the other hand, Antara still dreams of becoming a doctor and sacrificed her MBBS medical admission for the training camp of the SAG in order to achieve her other dream, that of winning a gold medal.

“It has been my dream to win gold at the SAG since I started karate. I sacrificed many things, including my studies, for this. I missed the admission tests of University of Dhaka and Dhaka Medical College just because of the SAG,” Antara said after winning gold in the women’s -61kg kumite event.

Antara also won Bangladesh its first medal at SAG 2019 with a bronze in the individual kata event Monday. 

Determined to win gold in her next event yesterday, her opponents from Pakistan in the semi-finals and Nepal in the final were no match.

When asked why she chose karate, Antara said: “I have had a special attraction to karate since my childhood, from even before I started practicing it in 2013. It is very helpful for girls. I can defend myself and do not need anyone’s support. This is why I chose karate.

“No individual helped me to make me what I’m today. They believed in me and I was not sure before today if I could keep their faith. I dedicate this gold to everyone who kept faith in me. I was only thinking of the national flag.

“I started playing karate in 2013. Besides, I had a soft corner for karate since childhood. I also have a special attraction to this game. That’s why I chose karate. My dream was to become a doctor. I studied in Wills Little Flower School.”

Priya, who started karate three years ago, was hugely inspired by Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

“It was an instant decision to come to karate. When I was studying in school, I found a place where I can practice karate at National Sports Council [gymnasium],” she said.

“I have never been as happy as I am today. This is the best achievement of my life. I participated in some international events in India, Cambodia, Malaysia, but none of them were on as big stage as it is,” added the 21-year old karate girl.

“I was only remembering my father’s words. His name is Mohammad Nuruzzaman, he is the ASI (assistant sub-inspector) of Police.

“I want to thank Allah for whose wish I’m here today. Then I want to thank my parents for all their supports and prayers. My father expected me to bring a gold for Bangladesh, that’s what he told me over phone.”

Antara and Priya will be aiming for more golds when the karate duo participate in the women’s team kumite event, on the last day of the karate events Wednesday.