The Saif Powertec 33rd National Age-group Swimming and Diving Championships came to a close at the Syed Nazrul Islam National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.
Throughout the course of the tournament a total of 31 national records were set, eight of which were produced on the final day.
BKSP dominated the medals tally, finishing on top with 51 gold, 58 silver and 35 bronze medals while Bangladesh Ansar came in second with 24 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze medals.
BKSP’s Mobarak Hossain, who hails from Kishoreganj, registered four national records and won seven gold medals to be rightfully adjudged the best swimmer in the boys’ events. Bangladesh Ansar’s Anny Khatun was the best erformer in the girls’ events, having produced a national record of her own while winning seven gold medals.
“I had a strong feeling that I could do something special this time since I worked hard in practice. I also produced good timings during training,” said Mobarak, who participated in the 11-12 age-group events.
Mobarak was inspired to enter the sport by his elder brother, Titu Mia, who is a former BKSP swimmer. Titu, now working with Bangladesh Army, helped a young Mobarak get admission to the BKSP in hopes of getting him a job with the service team.
“I want to be a good swimmer and win medals for the country,” said the five-foot tall swimmer, who won five gold and one silver medal in the last edition of the championship in 2017.
Meanwhile Anny, who recently moved to Kushtia to live with her maternal grandparents following her father’s passing just ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, was pleased with her results.
“I could not win any medals in the last championships but this time I practised well and won seven gold medals. I want to be a swimmer like [Mahfuza Akter] Shila apa,” said Anny.
Before the championship even began, great focus was placed on members of the Bangladesh team who were selected through a talent hunt programmed called ‘Bangladesh in search of best swimmer’ and underwent a long-term training camp under the supervision of the Bangladesh Swimming Federation.
Of the 103 gold medals earned during the three-day meet, 55 gold medals went to those talented swimmers.