Bangladesh finished on top of the Yonex-Sunrise Bangladesh International Junior by bagging three gold medals at the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium in Paltan yesterday.
Bangladesh grabbed the gold in three of the five events, men's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles, which were all Bangladeshi affairs. India won gold in the women's singles and mixed doubles events.
By winning three gold and one silver medals, the junior shuttlers outshone their seniors who could only manage one bronze medal in the Yonex-Sunrise Bangladesh International Challenge held last week.
Top seed Abdul Hamid Lokman beat second seed Sibgat Ullah by 17-21, 22-20, 21-19 points to win his first international medal. Until now, the Bangladesh Youth Games champions had participated in only three international tournaments -- twice in India and once in Indonesia.
“I faced tough matches but I finally overcame the hurdle after following the instructions of my coaches. I am really proud to become champion in an international tournament,” said 17-year-old Lokman.
Asked whether the tournament was easy considering that there were no competitors from India or Nepal, Lokman said, “I worked really hard to win the title, I beat top ranked players like Gourvab Singha [number one], Mangal Singha [number two] and Sibgat Ullah [number six] in quarterfinal, semifinal and final. All three matches were challenging for me but I succeeded. It could have been better though had good shuttlers from India and Nepal participated.”
However, Lokman is unsure of whether to continue playing the sport.
“My family backs me to play badminton but there is no future in badminton in Bangladesh. I will give it up if my family pressures me to do something for my bread and butter,” said Lokman.
In the women's singles final, Treesa Jolly beat by Ruhi Raju 21-15, 21-11 points while Gourab Singha and Mangal Singh beat Hanif Mohammad and Lokman by 21-16, 21-17 points to win the men's doubles.
Rasma Akter and Urmi Akter beat Rahima Jarin and Kamelia Islam by 21-9, 22-20 points to win the women's doubles while Indian pair -- Manvir Raj and Treesa -- beat Bangladeshi pair Gourab and Urmi by 21-4, 21-14 points to win the mixed doubles.