Endless wait for SraboniShafiur Rahman
It looks like an endless wait for Sraboni Biswas, Bangladesh’s taekwondo queen, who is training day in and day out to realise her Olympics dream, but still facing some kind of uncertainty.
Sraboni is one of the five athletes Bangladesh is looking to send to London to participate in the Olympic Games but while four others have already received their wildcards, the 23-year-old taekwondo player has been kept waiting.
The Bangladesh Olympic Association has repeatedly assured Sraboni that they are trying their heart and soul to confirm her participation, but it hardly eased her tension.
‘I am training really hard for the Olympics since it is the dream event for each and every athlete. But at the moment it’s like a bad dream for me. I am so tensed that sometimes I cannot sleep properly,’ said Sraobni.
‘I could have trained more freely if my participation was confirmed,’ said Sraboni before starting training at the National Sports Council gymnasium on Wednesday.
Sraboni said her family members and relatives were very happy when she was called into the Olympic preparation camp but now sometimes she feels very embarrassed as she is afraid that she might not be able to catch the London-bound flight.
‘I sometimes feel very sad when I think how embarrassing it will be for me if I do not get the wildcard. I have already had a few sleepless nights which is taking a toll on my health,’ said Sraboni who trains five hours a day in two sessions of two and a half hours each.
Sraboni came to the spotlight when she won a gold medal in the 5th Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships in India in 2011 and repeated the feat at the First Mount Everest Championships in Nepal the same year.
It helped her make the list of potential wildcard getters, which the BOA sent to the International Olympic Committee. Officials said among the potential players, the IOC selected gymnast Syque Caesar, swimmer Mahfizur Rahman Sagar, archer Imdadul Haque Milon and shooter Sharmin Akter Ratna.
The IOC is also positive about Sraboni, but her wildcard will be approved only if there is any slot available in her weight category.
‘We sent her name to the IOC as she has got a good profile,’ said Col (retired) Waliullah, the director and chief executive officer of the BOA. ‘Hopefully we will get a result about her by this month.’
BOA officials said they also had sent the name of athlete Mohan Khan, the fastest man of Bangladesh, but his chance of getting a wildcard is very slim as he has a poor timing in 100-metre sprint, in the range of 11 seconds.
If Mohan does not get a wildcard, this will be for the first time Bangladesh will have no representative in track and field event since they have started participating in Olympics with the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
The four confirmed participants are training hard, mostly abroad with shooter Ratna honing her skills in London, gymnast Caesar doing the same in the USA.
Archer Milon will soon fly to Bangkok while the BOA has already recruited an Indian coach to train swimmer Sagar.
As Sraboni is not yet confirmed about her participation in the London Games, there is no special arrangement for her. She is training at the National Sports Council gymnasium under her regular Korean coach Ji Ju-sung, though she has little complaint.
‘My coach is very good and serious. He always says that training is the only solution to my all problems. He asked me not to think too much about the Olympics and said that I have few other platforms to prove myself,’ said Sraboni.
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