The Rio 2016 Olympics ends today and many events will be remembered from this edition. Some athletes created history and established themselves in the record books but for us Bangladeshis, the Olympics is way out of reach. A medal seems light years away.
The label of “the highest population without an Olympic medal” has already stuck to Bangladesh after smaller nations from across the world started winning medals at this year's mega event.
Bangladesh have established themselves in cricket with some brilliant performances over the years but in athletics, gymnastics and swimming, among a host of sports, are lagging behind. Athletes from these disciplines produce glimpse of hope at the national level but when they participate in the world stage, Bangladesh's wide-ranging shortcoming becomes exposed.
Only raw talent is not enough to win an Olympic medal. Sportsman have to go through years of hard work to achieve success. Proper funding in the relevant sports arena, arranging professional training, hiring professional coaches are also requirements that have to be met at every stage.
There has to be emphasis on these issues more seriously to become successful in the future Olympics. The first step will be to get rid of the mentality that they are just going to participate.
Tribune Sprots here takes a look at how Bangladesh's 2016 Olympians fared.
Siddikur Rahman (Golf - Men’s individual stroke play)
[caption id="attachment_11675" align="alignright" width="300"]
Siddikur Rahman competes during Men’s Golf individual stroke play[/caption]
The ace golfer made history by becoming the first ever Bangladeshi to qualify to the Olympics directly. But he finished his campaign scoring an overall 11-over-par 295 to finish at third from bottom out of 60 participants.
He scored four-over-par 75 in three rounds out of four. He struck seven bogeys against three birdies in round four. Siddikur performed inconsistently in the back nine where he played four bogeys and two birdies in the fifth and ninth holes. His best day in the office came in the second round where he carded one-under-par 70.
It was Siddikur’s maiden appearance in the biggest and most prestigious sporting event of the world and the 31-year old made history by becoming the first ever Bangladeshi to qualify for the Olympics directly.
“Everyone had high expectations from me in the Olympics. But I think I played really well, considering the golf course. Wind and rain engulfed the first three rounds. After the opening two rounds, I was a bit aggressive in the last two rounds. It was a totally different event where I gave my best and I’m satisfied about my performance. Playing there was a great achievement for me,” Siddikur said.
Shyamoli Roy (Archery - Women’s individual)
[caption id="attachment_11678" align="alignright" width="300"]
Shyamoli Roy during Women’s Archery individual[/caption]
Bangladeshi archer Shyamoli Roy finished 53rd out of 64 participants in the recurve bow event’s ranking round at the 2016 Rio Olympics having scored 600 points. Later Shyamoli failed to qualify from the round of 32 in the recurve bow event after the 22-year old archer lost in straight sets against Gabriela Bayardo of Mexico.
Shyamoli, from Narail, won gold medal in the recurve bow individual event in 2015 Asian Archery in Thailand.
“Despite the windy conditions and rain, I started very well,” Shyamoly later told. “But you see this weather is not usual for us. I was shaking as the rain had made it quite chilly.”
Having scored 600 points in the ranking round, Shyamoly (ranked 53rd) was pitted against 12th-ranked Mexican, who had scored 662 in the ranking round. Shyamoly felt that getting a much higher-ranked opponent cut short her competition, but also felt the experience will help her move forward.
Abdullah Hel Baki (Shooting - Men's 10-metre Air Rifle)
[caption id="attachment_11679" align="alignright" width="300"]
Abdullah Hel Baki (C) competes during Men's 10-metre air rifle[/caption]
Abdullah Hel Baki displayed Bangladesh’s best performance in the country’s short history of Olympics shooting when he scored 621.2 points to take 25th spot in the 10-metre air rifle event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
It was also the best ranking or placing for any Bangladeshi shooter in the Olympics. Baki however, failed to qualify for the final round as only the top eight shooters earn that right.
The silver medallist of the Commonwealth Games, Baki was only short of 4.3 points to make it through the qualification as Belarus shooter Illia Charheika scored 625.5 points to finish at eighth position. Although Baki’s best score is 624.8 points, nobody expected him to qualify for the final round.
It was however, not the first time Baki travelled to Brazil, as he went there in March to take part in the ISSF World Cup at the same city which he believed help him to prepare better.
Mahfizur Rahman Sagor (Swimming - Men's 50m freestyle)
[caption id="attachment_11681" align="alignright" width="300"]
Mahfizur Rahman Sagor (file photo)[/caption]
Bangladesh swimmer Mahfizur Rahman Sagor made his second Olympics appearance as he finished 54th among 85 participants in the heat of the men’s 50-metre freestyle event.
The 23-year old swimmer however, kept his promise by recording his best ever personal timing. Sagor clocked 23.92 seconds. His previous best was 23.93 seconds which he recorded in an open swimming competition in Thailand this year.
The opponents proved to be a bridge too far for the man from Pabna, whose best ever timing was only good enough to earn him fifth position in heat number five. He was subsequently ruled out in the preliminary round.
Sonia Akter Tumpa (Swimming - Women's 50m freestyle)
[caption id="attachment_11682" align="alignright" width="300"]
Sonia Akter Tumpa (file photo)[/caption]
Swimmer Sonia Akter Tumpa saw the exit door after being eliminated in the heats of the women’s 50m freestyle event. The Jhenaidah swimmer recorded her best ever personal timing – 29.99s which is 0.90 seconds better than her previous best set in Kazan last year.
Sonia concluded her mission at 69th place out of 88 participants.
Mezbah Ahmed (Athletics - Men's 100m)
[caption id="attachment_11683" align="alignright" width="300"]
Mezbah Ahmed (L) competes during Men's 100m freestyle[/caption]
Bangladesh’s fastest man Mezbah Ahmed exited the 2016 Rio Olympics as he finished fourth out of seven participants in the heats of the men’s 100-metre event.
Mezbah, who clocked 11.34 seconds, ended at 14th place among 21 athletes in the overall standings.
This was the 21-year old’s maiden appearance at the Olympics. Mezbah’s best timing is 10.72s and even if he had clocked 10.76s in the preliminaries, he would have qualified for the first round.
The timing is Bangladesh’s poorest result in the Olympics after the Sydney Games in 2000. Athlete Mohan Khan took part in the last Olympics in London 2012 where he clocked 11.25s while Abu Abdullah Mohammad and Mohammad Shamsuddin clocked 11.07s and 11.13s respectively in the Beijing Games in 2008 and Athens Games in 2004.
Meanwhile, Mezbah blamed lack of training time during Olympic preparation for his performance.
Shirin Akter (Athletics - Women's 100m)
[caption id="attachment_11684" align="alignright" width="300"]
Shirin Akter (file photo)[/caption]
Sprinter Shirin was eliminated after Bangladesh’s fastest woman finished fifth in the heats of the 100-metre event.
The 22-year old from Satkhira clocked 12.99 seconds and only finished above other participants from Afghanistan, Angola and Marshall Islands. Shirin ended her campaign at 17th position among 24 participants. The sprinter herself however had been saying that she hardly got the proper training required to participate in an Olympic Games.