Bangladesh’s archers swept all 10 gold medals of the 13th South Asian Games, cruising to the title in the four events decided yesterday and in doing so, set a few individual and collective records in Pokhara.
Bangladesh had won all six team gold medals in recurve and compound archery on Sunday, and followed that up with four gold medals yesterday, thanks to gold from Ruman Sana in men’s recurve individual, Ety Khatun in women’s recurve individual, Sohel Rana in men’s compound individual and Suma Biswash in women’s compound individual events.
Ruman, Sohel and Ety bagged three gold medals each, with Ety, the 14-year-old archer from Chuadanga, becoming the first female athlete from the country to win three gold medals in a single edition of the Games.
The record for the highest number of gold medals for any athlete -- male or female -- belongs to swimmer Mosharraf Hossain, who won five gold medals in the 1985 SA Games held in Dhaka.
Ety’s effort also helped archery become the most successful discipline in a single edition for Bangladesh with 10 gold medals -- three more than the haul shooting had gotten in the 1993 SA Games, the second time Dhaka had hosted the regional multi-sport extravaganza.
Bangladesh also won one bronze medal in archery, courtesy of compound archer Ashim Kumar Das, even though they failed to win a silver medal from the discipline.
The 10 gold medals in archery and one in men’s cricket in Kathmandu later in the day took Bangladesh to 19 gold medals, one more than their previous best of 18, set in the 2010 SA Games when Bangladesh had hosted the Games for the third time.
Bangladesh athletes also won one silver medal in swimming, one in fencing and one in boxing as well as two bronze in wrestling, two in fencing and one in boxing.
The overall tally of medals at the end of the day rose to 133 -- 19 gold, 34 silver and 80 bronze -- making it the most successful SA Games for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s previous best effort was 18 gold, 23 silver and 56 bronze medals in 2010 for a total of 97 medals to finish in third position, even though there were only 158 gold medals on offer in 23 disciplines in 2010 against 317 gold in 26 disciplines this time around.
Despite the rise in medals, Bangladesh were still in fifth position, where they are expected to finish as the Games conclude today with only a handful of events remaining.
India, like the previous 12 editions, were on top of the tally followed by Nepal in second position, Sri Lanka in third and Pakistan in fourth.
Maldives, having won their first ever gold medal in the history of the Games courtesy of sprinter Hassan Saaid in the 100m sprint, are ahead of Bhutan, who have a few silver and bronze medals. But Bhutan would love to grab their first gold medal from this edition when they square off against hosts and defending champions Nepal in the final of men’s football in Kathmandu today.