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Alida offers Shirin new challenge

online : | সোমবার, ২৪ এপ্রিল ২০১৭ | সর্বাধিক পঠিত

Alida offers Shirin new challenge

Shirin Akter (left), and Alida Sikder

The inclusion of Alida Sikder, a US-born Bangladeshi athlete, in the Bangladesh contingent for next month’s 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, has finally put country’s fastest woman Shirin Akter in a challenging situation.
Shirin, the undisputed sprint queen of the country since 2014, was not included in the Bangladesh team for Games, scheduled from May 12-22 in Baku, Azerbaijan, in order to accommodate Alida.
Shirin, who represented Bangladesh in all major competitions over the past few years, including last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, took the decision sportingly and promised to improve her performance to take her place back.
‘I was optimistic to get a place in the national team for the Solidarity Games,’ Shirin told New Age on Sunday. ‘When I learnt that Alida was selected for the Games I got frustrated. But later I accepted it positively and took it as a challenge for my career.’
Shirin, an honours second year student of Rajshahi University, wished Alida a good luck in the upcoming meet where the US-born athlete would take part in 100-metre sprint and long jump events.
‘It’s natural that a better performer will get the preference and Alida’s timing is better than me,’ said Shirin.
‘I took it positively and decided to give more concentration in my training to improve my timing.’
Shirin’s first appearance in the international arena was in 2009 when she represented Bangladesh in the Asian Youth Games in Singapore.
After that, she became one of the regular faces in the national team having participated in different major Games, including Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, Phuket Asian Beach Games in 2015, Guwahati SA Games and Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
The 22-year old athlete from Satkhira clocked her best timing of 11.99seconds in last year’s SA Games but it was not enough to beat Alida, whose best timing was 11.92seconds.
Shirin, who was a part of two bronze medals winning Bangladesh women’s relay team in the SA Games, said she was doing individual training since November to improve her personal timing.
She took a special approval from the director general of BKSP to avail residential training facilities at the BKSP.
‘I would like to thank BSKP for giving me a special permission to train under Kafi sir [Abdullah Hel] at BKSP,’ said Shirin.
‘My ultimate goal is to win the next year’s Kathmandu SA Games gold medal in 100-metre sprint which is why I am continuing my individual training at my own cost.
Shirin must improve her timing by some distance to win SA Games gold, won by Sri Lanka’s Rumeshika Rathnayake in the previous meet in Guwahati by clocking 11.60seconds.
The South Asian record in women’s 100-metre sprint is held by Sri Lanka Susanthika Jayasinghe, who clocked 11.35seconds in 1995 Madras SA Games.
Shirin is hopeful she can take her timing upto that level.
‘I believe that I’m capable of improving my timing by at least 30 to 40 micro seconds, which I think would be enough to win a SA Games gold medal,’ she said. –

News Published : NewAGE



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