The venue and the accommodation for the weightlifting camp were initially provided at Mirpur Krira Palli-2 but the NSC had to change it to current location due to “fragile” condition at Mirpur venue as well
The top weightlifters and the coaches in the South Asian Games’ weightlifting preparation camp couldn’t hide their wrath on lack of equipment and its poor condition along with the insufficient space which is forcing them to cut more times than usual in the training.
Pointing out at the defunct air-conditioner at the weightlifting gymnasium beside the National Sports Council, weightlifting head coach Faruk Sarkar Kajol told to Dhaka Tribune, “It’s too hot and difficult for weightlifters to train in such weather. There is not enough space. We have 22 in the camp but only six weightlifters can train at a time.”
Talking about the equipment, the NSC coach since 1994 said, “We have only three barbell set for 11 women and three sets for same number of men. The condition of them is also very poor. There is not enough movement, no motion and the positions don’t change sometimes.”
The 2016 SA Games gold-medalist Mabia Akter Shimanta blasted, “Nobody would call it gym. It’s like a store room. I never saw any gymnasium in other country without AC. The space is too little to accommodate even half of us. And there are not enough training equipments.”
The venue and the accommodation for the weightlifting camp were initially provided at Mirpur Krira Palli-2 but the NSC had to change it to current location due to “fragile” condition at Mirpur venue as well.
Member secretary of BOA's training committee, AK Sarkar said that the space of bodybuilding was given to weightlifting to reduce the problem. He said, “It’s nothing new that we have limited infrastructure. We have to move with what we have.”
Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation’s vice-president Mahiuddin Ahmed informed that in a letter to NSC in December last year, the BWF asked for some minimum required equipment for the team to arrange effective training camp for SA Games which included eight barbell sets. The NSC forwarded the letter to Ministry six days later but in no vein.
Women weightlifters leading the way
After Hamidul Islam won the country’s first SA Games gold medal in weightlifting in 2010, Mabia became the second in the line to bag another gold at 2016 SA Games, where the women’s team also won two more silver and as many bronze against only single bronze medal from the men’s team.
Almost all the weightlifters in the current men’s team are new faces while in the women’s team, eight out of 11 are old faces including 2016 SA Games silver-medalists Fullapati Chakma (58kg weight category) and Sathy Sultana (69kg).
Fullapati will be competing in the 55kg in the upcoming edition. She said, “We practiced for only a few days. It would have been better if we had more preparation time. Sometimes, winning medal depends on luck but my target is to give my full effort.”
Sathy, whose weight category of 69kg has been changed to 71kg in the Nepal SA Games, said, “I’m not thinking about gold or silver. I’m only focusing on giving my best.”