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Dhaka Tribune

Birthday delight for fencing girl

When the moment arrived, all the fencers, coaches and officials celebrated not only the country’s first gold medal in fencing, but also Fatema Mujib’s 20th birthday

Update : 07 Dec 2023, 10:50 PM

Fatema Mujib hid her birthday from others and wanted to disclose only if she wins the gold medal. 

When the moment arrived, all the fencers, coaches and officials celebrated not only the country’s first gold in fencing, but also Fatema’s 20th birthday.

Daughter of freedom fighter Khorshed Ali, Fatema was brought up by his two brothers and three sisters. 

It was through her elder brother Saddam Mujib that Fatema was brought into the game of fencing in 2013. 

The inspiration from the family, especially Saddam, who is also a fencer in Bangladesh Navy, allowed Fatema to carry on playing the game for six years now.

“I chose this sport because I love it. It’s a royal game and I Iiked it immediately after playing it with my brother at home. They brought me up after my mother died in 2001,” said an emotional Fatema fighting back tears.

Fatema informed that she won gold four times in the national competition, and seven golds in team events, along with nine silvers. 

“But this is the first time I'm playing abroad. I was confident of winning gold because I played well. The weather here is different but I still had the belief. This is the best moment of my career,” said an elated Fatema.

In Bangladesh, fencing is one of the least practiced sports among the 10 played in the first Olympic Games, and there are around only 300 fencers under the radar of Bangladesh Fencing Association that began its journey only 12 years ago.

“My dream is big. I want to participate in more international tournaments and see my potential in the bigger stages,” said the Navy athlete.

She talked about the obstacles the national fencers have to face. 

“The people here are very friendly. But we need modern fencing equipments, which are not available here. The electric jacket we have to wear during the game gets damaged fast due to which we can’t practice all the time,” explained Fatema.

National team fencing coach San Sokseyha is only two years older than Fatema. 

The former Cambodian fencer started coaching only two years ago. 

His contract will end after the Games. 

He said, “We have two top fencing girls, one is Fatema and other is Chadni Akter. Fatema trains well. She will improve more and get more medals in future. One gold is not enough. We need more.”

Fatema too expects to win another medal during the team events Monday.

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