Kabaddi, shooting and archery hold Bangladesh's medal hopes in the upcoming Asian Games, said Bangladesh Olympic Association's (BOA) general secretary Syed Shahed Reza yesterday. The BOA boss also hoped that the athletes would try to improve on their individual performances during the quadrennial event, to be staged in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2. He was speaking at a press conference prior to a meet-up with Asian Games-bound athletes at the BOA house.
117 athletes in 14 disciplines will represent Bangladesh in the two-week long sports meet. Archery, athletics, basketball (3-on-3), beach volleyball, bridge, football, golf, hockey, kabaddi, rowing, shooting, swimming, weightlifting and wrestling are the disciplines where Bangladesh will take part.
"We have got a good opportunity to do well in shooting, kabaddi and archery," Shahed Reza said. "Our shooters have been doing well on the international stage and now they are training under electronic system. The archers have also won international level medals in recent times while we always get medals in women's kabaddi."
"Even in the disciplines where we cannot expect medals, we would hope that the athletes will try to give their best performance, especially as we have the South Asian Games in March next year," he added.
The Bangladesh contingent will move to Indonesia in various consignments, with the football team scheduled to reach there first as they will be flying from South Korea to Indonesia on August 11. The football event will get underway on August 10, eight days ahead of the opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, South Asian Games gold medallist weightlifter Mabia Akter Simanta has been nominated to carry the Bangladesh flag at the opening ceremony marchpast at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
"Mabia has come so far due to her sheer determination and dedication. She is full of confidence and spirit. She won a gold medal at the SA Games and also did very well at the Commonwealth Games. Hence she has been nominated for the honour," Reza said.
The press conference was attended by the other high officials of BOA including Kazi Razibuddin Ahmed Chapal, Ashikur Rahman Miku, AK Sarkar and Asaduzzaman Kohinoor.