Bengali rugby star Bulbul eyes gold | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 06, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 06, 2012

London Paralympic Games

Bengali rugby star Bulbul eyes gold

Bulbul Hussain, wheelchair rugby player from London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is hoping to win a medal at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 40-year-old Bulbul took up the sport a year after a car accident in Bangladesh in the mid 1990s that left him with spinal injuries. At first he did it to regain fitness, but after a few training sessions Bulbul decided to commit himself fully to the sport. Bulbul first started competing in wheelchair rugby in 1997. Attracted to the sport because of its speed and the competitive element, Bulbul won a gold medal when he played in his first major tournament at the National Championships in Stoke Mandeville.
Bulbul said: "It was hard to break into the squad and took me a long time. I really had to focus and work hard to make it."
Bulbul with his team Great Britain lost their opener 56-44 in a tight game against the top ranked United States last night. They are also likely to face stiff competition from Australia and Canada both among the top ranked teams in the world. However, Bulbul believes home advantage will give the British the boost that they need to win gold, despite the opening day setback.
He said: "USA are the favourites but at home we expect to beat them. Last time we played we pushed them to three overtimes, so we were unlucky to lose in a game that could have gone either way. If the luck is on our side then I think we will win a gold medal.”
Tom O'Connor, head coach of the British team said, “Bulbul is a very talented, experienced low point-classified player and our aim is to recruit more high point players to play in line-ups with him.
“He possesses extraordinary skills for a player of his function and his attitude is an example to the younger players.”
Bulbul originally from Bangladesh now lives in Whitechapel near Banglatown and is looking forward to seeing the London 2012 Paralympic Games take place on his doorstep.
Bulbul's sporting inspiration is Mohammed Ali, whom he describes as the 'ultimate competitor'.

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