Though weightlifters Marzia Akter Ikra of Kishorganj, Sumaiya Akter of Gazipur and Tarina of Khulna failed to win gold medals in their respective weight categories of the inaugural Bangladesh Youth Games, the trio succeeded in impressing national coaches while showcasing their potential on the podium at the National Sports Council for the last two days.
As many as 23 female weightlifters participated across five weight categories, most of whom had no prior experience in competitive tournaments. The budding athletes drew the attention of the crowds and coaches alike regardless of the fact that they only had about one month's training, conducted by the Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation, ahead of the tournament.
“These girls have been unearthed by the Bangladesh Youth Games. They have improved a lot after only 20 days training, which was held in Mymensingh under the supervision of the weightlifting federation, and I believe they have a good future but need long term training to build up,” said coach Shahria Sultana Suchi, who along with Firoza Parvin conducted the regional training in Mymensingh before the final phase of the Bangladesh Youth Games began.
Sumaiya, a fourth grade student, is the youngest of the lot and only started weightlifting last August. However, there are many other high school students among the participants.
“I believe those girls have a good opportunity to surpass the successes of senior weightlifters like Mabia Akter Simanta, Molla Sabira and others because they have come into weightlifting at a tender age whereas the other weightlifters, who are already established, started playing lately, but these girls need long term training to flourish,” Suchi, also a former national weightlifter who began her career when she was a university student, continued.
“I want to do better than Simanta Apu,” said Sumaiya, who came to know the name of South Asian Games gold medalist after coming in Dhaka.
“I did not expect to win a silver medal in the 44kg weight category after having only one-month training and I am very happy with the medal and want to continue this and one day surpass the success Simanta Apu had,” said Marzia.
Suchi also believes Khulna division's Gini Rani Roy and Badhan have good potential as both of them bagged gold in the 53kg and 63kg weight categories respectively on their debut appearance at the national level, probably because the two have good technique.