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'We tried to hold onto Margarita'

  • Published at 10:14 pm August 24th, 2016
  • Last updated at 07:32 pm October 6th, 2016
'We tried to hold onto Margarita'
Born to a Bangladeshi father, Russian gold medal winner in rhythmic gymnastics Margarita Mamun had turned down an offer to be a part of the Bangladesh contingent in the recently concluded Rio Olympics 2016. According to Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation general secretary Ahmedur Rahman, Margarita had rejected the proposal in 2012 as she was a part of the junior Russian team and on the verge of moving to the senior side. Ahmedur also claimed that reports on Margarita participating for Bangladesh in the age-level competitions are false. Margarita visited Bangladesh in 2009 but poor infrastructure of gymnastics in the country meant the federation failed to help her in her pursuit. “We were not being able to draw a conclusion to this because we first needed to look into our files. But we are now sure that Margarita never participated for Bangladesh in any age-level competitions. There have been many media reports of her participation in junior level competitions for Bangladesh, which is not true,” Ahmedur told Bangla Tribune yesterday. The BGF general secretary however, admitted that Margarita had once visited Bangladesh back in 2009 when she expressed her wish to feature for the nation but rhythmic gymnastics at that time had no infrastructure. Thus, the federation had failed to impress her. “The federation had discussions with her in 2009 when she came to Bangladesh through the Russian Embassy. One thing I should clear here is that Margarita’s discipline is rhythmic gymnastics which is not practised in Bangladesh and has no infrastructure, no coach. So we could not keep her with us,” explained Ahmedur. But in 2012, the BGF contacted Margarita and asked her to join Bangladesh for the 2016 Olympics. “It is being said Bangladesh had turned her down, which is not true. BGF president Sheikh Abu Bashir had contacted Margarita and asked her to join Bangladesh team. But her mother replied back that Margarita was already a part of the Russia junior team and had a good opportunity to make it into the senior side for which it was not possible for her to join Bangladesh,” Ahmedur informed. Margarita was born in Moscow to a Bangladeshi father and a Russian mother – Anna – a former rhythmic gymnast herself. Her father Abdullah al Mamun, a Bangladeshi engineer, settled in Moscow where the gold medallist grew up. Margarita turned into a sensation after she won the gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics for Russia in the just concluded Rio Games.