Having left athletics, Umme Hafsa Rumki tried her luck in football and saw a good future after being chosen as a member of senior women’s football team. But the girl from Sirajganj again came back to the sport she loved most and broke a 15-year-old high-jump record to justify her decision to continue as a high-jumper.
Rumki yesterday cleared 1.68 metres to set a new national record in high-jump of the 15th Trust Bank National Summer Athletics Championships at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. The class-12 student erased the previous record of Sathi Parvin, which had stood since 2004, by 0.02 metres.
“I am really happy to set a national record. When I left football in 2017, many asked why I left football which could have earned me a lot of money. Those kinds of talk made me sad. Since then, I promised to produce good results in athletics which I love most and today all pains have gone,” said Rumki, who is participating representing Bangladesh Jail.
Rumki had made a golden start in athletics when she first won gold medal in high-jump during the 2014 Junior Athletics championships before joining Bangladesh Army next year and won a bronze medal at senior level.
Afterwards, the domestic success of footballers like Krishna Rani Sarker, Israt Jahan Swapna, Maria Manda and Monica Chakma attacked her to enrol into football. As a goalkeeper, Rumki was part of the national under-16 team’s tour of China, Japan and South Korea in build-up to the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Thailand in 2017. She was also part of under-18 team and was selected for the senior team too.
“I wanted to play athletics along with football, but BFF did not allow that. So I left football to playing athletics. I don’t have any regrets leaving football. I have belief that I can show something in athletics and today I have succeeded to produce a new national record,” said Rumki.
Asked whether she could win a medal in the upcoming South Asian Games, Rumki said, “Indian and Sri Lankan high jumpers won gold medals clearing 1.75 metres in their respective national championships.
I am seven centimetres short of that. But I have been improving gradually as I won gold medal in 2018 Summer Athletics with 1.62 metres and then won gold medal in 2018 national championship with 1.65 metres and now 1.68 metres. If I can improve my technique and the federation provides me with necessary support, I can hope for a medal at the SA Games,” said Rumki.