The inaugural Youth Games 2018 drew to a close with all the festivities befitting the occasion at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Friday. The organisers saved the best for the last as the boys’ and girls’ 100m races were the day’s biggest attraction. The tournament had 2,660 participants from all over the country competing for 163 gold medals.
In the girls’ event, the 200m gold medalist of the tournament, Rupa Khatun of Rajshahi prevailed, as she clinched the title clocking 12.30s. Rupa thanked her coach for her triumph. “I was good at running 200m but I never won in the shorter form. When they selected the high performance group, Kafi Sir (BKSP coach Abdullah Hel Kafi) inspired me and helped me to overcome the obstacles I faced with the shorter race,” said Rupa. When asked about her future goals, Rupa expressed her desire to improve her performance. “My future is not set in stone now. I obviously want to compete in the international level and so I will keep training. As I have said before in the junior event, if I can hold my level of performance or get better, I will consider running but I can’t say anything at the moment,” she added. Fellow athlete from Rajshahi, Sonia Akhter won silver and Dhaka’s Afria Alin took home bronze.
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BKSP's Rajshahi athlete Rupa Khatun (L) crosses the finishing line in the 100m event Dhaka Tribune
In the boys’ 100m event, Hasan Mia of Chittagong won gold as he clocked 11.06s. Hasan also won the 200m event of the Games. He expressed his amusement as this was the first time he was clocked electronically. “I have never been timed electronically before. This was a first. I clocked 11.06s. I ran faster times before,” said Hasan. When asked how he felt about his victory, Hasan mentioned his intention for the Games. “I had hoped for a better showing in the tournament. I feel good about my win and being the fastest. My time would’ve been better but I was ill for the last couple of days. Hopefully, I will improve my times and have a better performance in future,” said Hasan. Abdul Motaleb of Chittagong won silver and Nadim Molla bagged bronze.
Rajshahi won the most number of medals with 37 golds, 35 silvers and 40 bronzes for a total of 112. Khulna won the second most medals, 37 golds (same as Rajshahi) and as many silvers and the remaining bronze for a total of 94 medals. Chittagong won 35 golds, 26 silvers and 42 bronzes and came in third with a total of 103 medals.
The exhibition rowing tournament, organised by Rowing Federation with help from the Olympic Association, took place in Hatirjheel Friday. This event was not included in this year’s Games. In the girls’ event, Gazipur’s Gouri Rani clinched the top prize. The boys’ event had two categories. The individual event’s winner was Rangpur’s Ifad. In the team rowing event, Dhaka’s Alinagar team clinched the top prize.