Mezbah Ahmed became the fastest man of the country for the sixth consecutive time while Shirin Akter emerged as the fastest woman for the fifth straight instance as the sprint duo continued their supremacy in the 100m event of the National Summer Athletics Championship 2017 on Saturday.
There were complaints from both the sprinters regarding the poor condition of the track at Bangabandhu National Stadium as Mezbah took 10.80s to complete his run while Shirin clocked 12.30s to touch the finishing line.
Both the timings were recorded through hand-timing, which was a common scene throughout the two-day event that concluded on Saturday.
The 22-year old Mezbah has been dominating the BNS track since 2013 and the Bangladesh Navy sprinter needs only one more title to touch the 34-year-old record created by Mosharraf Hossain Shamim, who won seven straight titles from the late 1970s to the early 80s.
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Like Mezbah (Bagerhat), Shirin (Satkhira) also hails from south Bengal COURTESY
“My target was to make it six in a row. Now I will try to extend it to seven and eight, if possible more, before going into retirement,” said a delighted Mezbah after finishing his run.
He added, “Since Shamim sir has seven titles then my target is to make it eight.”
Mezbah’s best timing is 10.72s, which he set in the 2013 Bangladesh Games.
He then went on to win three national crowns and two titles in the summer athletics.
“I’m not satisfied with my timing but at the same time, it is not possible to produce great timing on this field. The field is old now and the track is slow,” said Mezbah.
“I’m leaving the country for the World Championship on August 1. If I had made any mistakes [Saturday] it would be a setback to my participation in the World Championship. If I have to make a better result, I need international standard training. It is better if we get our times in electronic timing,” concluded Mezbah, who clocked 10.88s in Bhubaneswar in India last month.
Mezbah will be the only athlete from Bangladesh to take part in the World Athletics Championship 2017, which will be held in London from August 4-13.
Mezbah is scheduled to fly off for London on August 1.
Like Mezbah (Bagerhat), Shirin (Satkhira) also hails from south Bengal and both participated in the Olympics for the first time in Rio, Brazil last year.
Shirin, whose personal best is 11.99s, is determined to win a gold medal in the next South Asian Games.
“I was training in BKSP for quite a while under Kafi sir. I believe I can improve my timing in the upcoming events, both at home and abroad. If I continue practice till SA Games, I believe I can win gold. Nothing is impossible. I must do that,” said a confident Shirin.
Meanwhile, Kazi Shah Imran (10.90s) and Shariful Islam (11.10s) finished second and third respectively in the men’s 100m sprint while Shohagi Akter (12.40s) and Sushmita Ghosh (12.80s) won silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 100m event.