Cotton Group 30th National Age-Level Swimming Championships concluded yesterday amidst 21 new national records set, with Ariful Islam and Marium Khatun sealing the show of the three-day meet by sharing nine records among them at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur.
Ariful Islam, a class IX student of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BSKP), won 13 gold medals in the 13 events he participated while setting three national records while Marium of Bogra Swimming Centre grabbed 10 gold, three silver and two bronze medals, while setting six new national records.
Having failed to produce any national records despite winning 13 gold in the last meet, Ariful concentrated this time on setting national records and ended up with three new records.
“Every time I participated, grabbed a lot of gold medals but could not set any record. This time I targeted eight national records but could manage only three. However, I am happy with my performance,” said the lad from Khishorganj, who wants to to prepare himself in the best possible way for the next South Asian Games.
“My ultimate target is to win a gold in the SA Games,” said Ariful, who had a short-term training in Qatar High Performance Training Centre previously.
Though Ariful has reason to perform well as a student of a sports institution, Marium did not have enough facilities to perform well. However, it was her will power that led her to emulate the eight gold medals she won last time.
The feat of Ariful and Marium also helped their respective organisations to finish among top three. Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan became champions with 64 gold, 57 silver and 48 bronze medals followed by Bangladesh Ansar, who claimed 22 gold, 17 silver and 17 bronze medals.
Bogra Swimming Centre finished third with 13 gold, eight silver and two bronze medals.