The NRB Commercial Bank 13th Summer National Athletic Championships begin today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium without Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) participating.
Approximately 600 athletes will vie for glory in 36 events -- 22 male competitions and 14 female -- of the two-day competition, which is being held after a two-year hiatus. However, there is hardly expected to be any spectacle following the lack of preparation for the competitors as well as the absence of the country's lone sports education institute, which cited a lack of qualified athletes as the reason behind not attending.
“We don't have enough athletes who can compete at the senior level and although we have one or two who are studying at the intermediate, they are not good enough to complete at the senior level. So we are not taking part in the Summer meet this time,” BKSP coach Motiul Alam said. “Rather, BKSP always concentrates on the youth championships to groom athletes.”
Seeking anonymity, a Bangladesh Athletic Federation (BAF) official said that participating teams were not afforded ample preparation time and so, the notion of any national records being broken this time around seems impossible.
Nevertheless, it is pleasing for the athletes to be able to compete in the Summer meet after three years as the new BAF ad-hoc committee has so far upheld their promise to hold all of the national championships on time.
Events at the championships will be timed under the current hand timing standards but the BAF president ASM Ali Kabir has promised that November's National Athletic Championships will make use of electronic devices to give athletes a more accurate impression of their timing.