Mezbah, Shirin sprint to gold
Mezbah Ahmed and Shirin Akter became the fastest man and woman in the Walton 12th Summer Athletics Championships which concluded at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Mezbah of Bangladesh Navy finished his 100m sprint in 10:43 seconds to beat his teammate Kazi Shah Imran by 0.41 seconds while Navy's Shirin took 12:24 seconds to win her 100m dash, beating Shusmita Ghosh of Bangladesh Army by 0.70 seconds.
On way to grabbing the first summer meet gold, Mezbah eclipsed his previous best timing of 10:90 seconds but his teammate Shirin, despite winning the gold, saw her timing take a dip from 11:84 seconds which she had set National Athletics Championship in 2011.
Mezbah's gold also gave him the fastest man's accolade in three different national events – the Bangladesh Games, National Athletics Championship and National Summer Athletics Championship. Shirin, who had lost to Nazmunnahar Beauty in the Bangladesh Games in 2013, won the summer meet gold following her gold in the National Athletics Championship in 2011.
“I was doubtful whether I could run fast enough after a little injury I picked during the 200m sprint yesterday (Sunday), but I eventually overcame that and am happy to have won three successive gold in three meets,” said Mezbah.
“I want to sustain my dominance in the domestic circuit until the next Olympic Games,” said the former BKSP student. “However, I will request the authority of Bangladesh Navy to provide us with an athletic track for smooth training.”
At the absence of Beauty and with Shamsun Nahar Chumki disqualified, Shirin hardly faced any challenge from three other competitors and finished her dash way ahead of others.
“I don't think the absence of Beauty and Chumki helped me to win the sprint because when we take to the track, there is an inspiration that works from the inside to become first,” said Shirin, who however believed her timing should have been better.
Shirin and Mezbah's feats helped Bangladesh Navy emerge champions with 15 gold, nine silver and five bronze medals followed by Bangladesh Army, who snatched 14 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) finished third with five gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals.