34th Nat'l Athletics Meet Begins On Friday
Friday, 03 April 2009

Abu Abdullah will not be defending his crown as Bangladesh's fastest man when the UCB 34th National Athletics Championship begins at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.

Both he and runner-up Shamsuddin Ahmed have yet to return from Greece after attending the World Military Sports in March.

"We are now thinking how to replace them in the team for the SA Games," said Bangladesh Amateur Athletic Federation general secretary Shah Alam at a press conference on Thursday.

Another high-profile absentee is Mahfuzur Rahman Mithu, a gold medallist hurdler in the last SA Games, who went to Italy last year to receive advanced training for the Beijing Olympics.

Nearly 500 athletes from different districts, educational boards, universities and services teams will complete in 34 events -- 20 for men's and 14 for women's -- in the two-day meet.

"Though it is a two-day meet, but we are strictly maintaining the international rules and regulations and the athletes will get enough time to rest before going into their final race," said Alam.

BAAF president ATM Hyatuzzaman said that ahead of the 2010 SA Games in Bangladesh, they have been conducting a training camp with 52 athletes, of whom some were picked from a talent hunt programme.

He also said that they plan to hold another meet in future with the participation of the successful athletes of the national meet as well as those who were in the training camp.

UCB deputy managing director Shafiqul Alam said that the bank promised to continue helping athletes in future.

The federation will also accord a reception to four athletics, who took part marathons in Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

They are Hanifur Rahman, Firoz Khan, Golam Moula and Pesta Hossain.

"They standard of performance was international level. That's why Standard Chartered wishes to award them," said the BAAF president.

About Tk 6.10 lakh will be distributed among them.

Source: bdnews24.com

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