TT, badminton eye silver | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 12, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 12, 2010

TT, badminton eye silver

Bangladesh Badminton Federation general secretary Jubaidur Rahman Rana makes a point while announcing the team for the SA Games at the Bangladesh Olympic Association headquarters yesterday. PHOTO: COURTESY

Bangladesh Badminton Federation and Bangla-desh Table Tennis Fede-ration have set their sights on silver, something they had never achieved in the history of the South Asian Games that started its journey from Nepal in 1984.
It was expressed during press briefings of the two fledgling federations at the newly-built Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Bhaban yesterday, 18 days before the kick-off of the 11th SA Games to be staged in Bangladesh.
"The players have been training since January and they got a chance to judge their performance during the Asian Table Tennis Championship in India a few months ago. Having defeated Nepal, Laos and Jordan, Bangladesh finished 16th out of 21 participants and that's why we are expecting a silver medal in the men's team event this time," hoped Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation (BTTF) general secretary ATM Shamsul Alam.
He admitted that India are still the best in the region while announcing the final squad.
Alam's bold assertion however got soured a bit when the players, who were also present at the briefing, brought allegations against the federation high-ups for turning a blind eye on the two non-performing coaches of the team.
Hafizur Rahman and Saidul Haq Sadi were appointed coaches to prepare the players, but the players termed Hafizur as 'unskilled' while called Sadi 'slippery' for frequently ducking the training schedule.
"There was nothing new to learn from coach Hafizur Rahman and we had requested the federation to appoint coaches likes Linu [Jobera Rahman] and Kochi [Nasimul Hasan] but they did not listen to our request," said Moumita Alam Rumy. She however said that they learn a lot under Chinese coach Sun Yi in the last two months.
"At present, we can't say anything about medals. I could have ensured you about the medal had we got this coach from the beginning," said another paddler, Sonam Sultana Soma.
"The training under the federation was not hundred per cent perfect. The place where we are now training is not good. Besides, the ball given to us for practice is sub-standard and the mats are in a very bad shape. Moreover we are yet to get new tables to practise," said Mahbub Billah adding that the officials of the federation helped coaches, who received money without attending the camp.
BTTF general secretary Alam, however, allayed all the allegations.
Chinese coach Sun Yi said he had emphasised upon the skills and the players have shown a mark of improvement in the training.
Bangladesh Badminton Federation (BBF) has no such problem and veteran player Rasel Kabir Sumon termed the training the best ever in his playing career and was confident of winning silver in the men's event.
"This is the best training I have had received in my 10-year playing career," said Sumon at the press briefing adding that their preparations were far better compared to the last SA Games.
Badminton was included in the SA Games in 2004 and the Bangladesh men's team was eliminated from the quarterfinals in both ninth and tenth editions of the meet.
Jubaidur Rahman Rana, the general secretary of the federation, said, "With nine months of training behind the shuttlers, they are now ready to shine at home and the men's team will fight for the silver if they can avoid India in the first round."Admitting the supremacy of India, Rana said: "The Indians are far better than us and the gold medals always go to them in the Games. So we can't dare to win gold."
The BBF boss also hoped to get a couple of bronze medals in the men's double and mixed doubles events.
"They have improved a lot physically and technically since I took charge four months ago. The players now know what they should do to win," said Malaysian coach Chew Ming Yao Alvin.
MEN: Manash Chowdhury, Hanif Hamlet, Mahbub Billah, Mustafa Billah, Goutam Kumar Das.
WOMEN: Sonam Sultana Shoma, Saleha Parvin Setu, Moumita Alam Rumy, Jayati Datta and Rahima Akhter.
MEN: Rasel Kabir Suman, Ahsan Habib Shaikat, Rais Uddin, Saifuddin, Anamul Haque and Jamil Ahmed Dulal.
WOMEN: Konika Rani Adhikary, Shapla Akhter, Alina Sultana, Dulali Haldar, Rozina Akter and Jebunnesa Seema.

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