Bangladesh hope of finishing second
Bangladesh is hoping to improve their standing in the sub-continent carom when the 16th edition of the SAARC Carom Championship starts at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan from tomorrow.
Five teams -- hosts Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan -- will compete in the four-day competition featuring seven events -- men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles, mixed doubles and team events of men and women.
Bangladesh are hosting the meet for the second time after they hosted the seventh edition of the championship in 2003 where Bangladesh won the maiden lone international gold medal in the mixed doubles event which remains their only gold medal in the discipline in an international meet.
“The championship is decided by the team event. Last year we finished third and were runners-up in 2010 but this time our target is to improve our standing,” said Bangladesh Carom Federation president Junaid Ahmed Palak PM at a press conference at the NSC Tower auditorium yesterday.
“Compared to previous times, the players this time have been given longest time to practice as we started at the beginning of June through a trial and the practice is still continuing in the air-conditioned room, a facility we never had in the past,” said Palak.
India are considered the favourites in the five-nation meet followed by Sri Lanka but Bangladesh dream to topple Sri Lanka to grab the second position.
“We fought against India before going down closely every time but we recorded victories over Sri Lanka, that's why we are hopeful of finishing second in the meet. Besides, the players' satisfactory performance at the international level for the last two years is inspiring us to dream of becoming runners-up,” said Palak.
Bangladesh men's squad: Hafizur Rahman, Mohammad Ali Robin, Hemayet Uddin and Monir Uzzaman.
Women's squad: Farzana Banu Shilpi, Farzana Akter, Afsana Nasrin and Farhana Pretty.