Bangladeshi's foul play | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 02, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 02, 2010

Bangladeshi's foul play


SHE DOESN'T DESERVES IT: Marma Fatema Chingby shows victory sign to the crowd after the 50-km road race mass start in Khulna yesterday. The Bangladeshi cyclist was disqualified for her act of cheating during the race.Photo: STAR

The 11th South Asian (SA) Games turned dirty and ugly on Monday when a Bangladeshi woman cyclist was spotted for receiving an undue push from an overenthusiastic official during competition and was eventually disqualified despite finishing first in the 50-km road race mass start at Khulna.
The athlete, caught for an act of cheating, was Marma Fatema Chingby while the official who embarrassed the whole nation was Oliul Islam, an ex-general secretary of Bangladesh Cycling Federation.
Fatema Chingby was just behind India's eventual gold winner Mahitha Mohan when 'fair play' turned foul play at Fakirhat turning point in Bagerhat district with Oliur pushing her cycle from behind, said Ajmol Ahmed Tapon, joint convenor of the 86-member organising committee of the cycling event of 11th SA Games. It was also learnt that Fatema Chingby and the other Bangladeshi cyclist did not take the compulsory U-turn.
This incident sparked widespread resentment among the managers of other participating countries and they strongly condemned it terming the act as an unfair play.
However, Mahitha emerged as a true champion by winning the race in one hour 25 minutes and 42 seconds while Sri Lanka's Lasanthi Krishna Horathal took the silver with a timing of one hour 28 minutes and 34 seconds.
India's Rameshwori Debi claimed the bronze after finishing with a timing of one hour 28 minutes and 35 seconds.
It was India's third goal in the cycling competition and the regional superpower will look forward to a clean sweep by winning the men's 170-kilometre road race mass start today, the concluding day of the cycling event.
"I feel really proud to represent my country. It is really good to win a gold and we all now will rally behind our men's team to win the 170-km road race mass start event so that we can leave this place with full satisfaction," said gold winner Mahitha.
However, apart from that unwanted episode, the cycling competition created a festive atmosphere in the southern headquarters of the country and its surrounding districts with hundreds of people cheering the athletes during the last three days of the competition.
The Khulna-Bagerhat-Mawa highway turned vibrant with people from Khulna, Bagerhat, Fakirhat and Mollahat pouring in numbers to witness the race.
Ahmed Faisal Bappi, a 20-year-old youth from Majhidanga village of Karapara Union, took the pain of riding his own bicycle for nearly 20 kilometres to see the women's race, reports our Bagerhat correspondent.
"I have seen cycling competitions only on television before, so I did not want to miss an opportunity to see this with my own eyes. And to make sure that I don't let this opportunity go, I woke up very early this morning," said Meenakshi Biswas, an 18-year-old girl of Mouvogh village.
"I was really happy to see an international event here. I was also amazed to seen hundreds of people forming human chain for miles during the competition," observed Harun Ur Rashid, a businessmen of Fakirhat.
Meanwhile, local authorities have suspended classes of some schools close to the vicinity of the highway and a class eight student of Keramat Ali High School said: "I really enjoyed the race as my school remained closed on Sunday and Monday."

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