The first part of the Bangladesh contingent to participate in next month's Olympic Games is scheduled to leave for Brazil tonight with a single athlete, shooter Abdullah Hel Baki.
Baki, a silver medalist of the Commonwealth Games, will be accompanied by Danish coach Klavs Christensen, chef de mission of Bangladesh contingent Lt General (rtd) ATM Zahirul Alam and attaché of the contingent and director general of the BOA Fakruddin Haider.
Ever since they first participated in 1984, Bangladesh has never won a medal from the Olympics. However, this time the athletes go in with a mission to improve their individual best despite once again taking part as a 'token participation'.
"I am going there with only hopes to put my best behind. If I can transfer my present form to the competition, I can hope to make it to the eight-man final,” said Baki at a press briefing yesterday.
It is evident from Baki's 624.8 score in the ISSF World Cup in Germany last May that under the guidance of Christensen he has improved greatly. Now he will have nearly one week to prepare himself and adapt to the conditions in Rio before his pet event of 10m air rifle begins on August 8.
"In Germany, I ruined a great chance to reach the final due to a loss of concentration. However I had some psychological sessions which will I think help to keep me calm in big events," said Baki.
Meanwhile, the BSSF yesterday declared that they would award Tk 10 lakh to Baki if he reaches the final round while more cash-awards await should he win any medal.
Meanwhile, swimmers Mahfizur Rahman Sagor and Sonia Akter Tumpa, sprinters Mezbahuddin Ahmed and Shirin Akter are scheduled to fly out on Monday while golfer Siddikur Rahman and archer Shaymoly Roy will leave the next day.