The Bangladesh Athletics Federation (BAF) is planning to rope in South African athletics coach named Godwin Odinukaeze for sprinters and hurdlers ahead of the South Asian Games, which will be held in Nepal from December 1 to 10.
Odinukaeze’s latest engagement was with the Al Ain Sports Club in United Arab Emirates, but the 51-year-old is currently unemployed and looking for a team to train.
“We already communicated with Odinukaeze last week and proposed him to work as the coach of Bangladesh from September 15 to December 15 for the South Asian Games. But he wants a contract for at least six months. We told him that we would consider that later if he makes an impression in Bangladesh athletics,” BAF general secretary Abdur Rokib Montu said yesterday.
“Today we mailed him again to know about his final decision. We are hoping to get his response within a couple of days,” said Montu adding that they would provide air-tickets and accommodation for the coach apart from monthly salary of 3,000 US dollars.
The BAF general secretary informed that they have decided to pay the salary from their own fund as Bangladesh Olympic Association has ensured them financial assistance for the foreign coach.
There is hardly any chance for Bangladeshi athletes to win medals in sprint and hurdles, two events where Bangladesh have won four gold medals in the history of the SA Games, but this time around, high-jumpers Mahfuzur Rahman and Umme Hafsa Rumki, who created new national records in the just-concluded summer meet, are being tipped to win medals in the SA Games.
“We are expecting something good from them [high-jumpers] too and we want to take good care of them until the start of the SA Games,” Montu said. “We are also thinking whether to include country’s prominent high-jump coach Nazrul Islam Rumi with them. We will soon talk to him about it.”