‘Isolated’ Bangladesh archers keep on training
Bangladesh archery team’s head coach Martin Frederick assured that he and his charges were taking every possible precaution and keeping a keen eye on the news as they carried on their training camp ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
‘We are in practice with exactly 22 archers here…We don’t stop. Thanks to the government that they gave us the opportunity to continue,’ Martin told New Age on Saturday.
‘All things and all measurements have to be taken care of. Of course, we know our responsibility. And day by day we have to listen the news,’ he added.
The entire sports fraternity of the country came to a standstill after the ministry for youth and sports on March 16 advised all sport’s governing bodies to suspend domestic tournaments and training camps till the end of the month.
Every sports body of Bangladesh followed this advice, other than archery, who were exempted by the ministry to continue their preparation for the Olympics, scheduled to take place on July 24 to August 9 in Japan.
Archery was given this special exemption mainly because of country’s ace archer Ruman Shana, who was set to take part in the biggest sporting extravaganza after becoming the first Bangladeshi archer to directly qualify for Olympics by winning a bronze medal in the World Archery Championship last year.
Under German coach Matin’s guidance, the archers were continuing their training in an isolated location in Tongi and the 52-year old was thus far satisfied with the precautionary measures being taken by everyone inside the camp.
‘Our training center in Tongi is a good area. It is something like isolation for players. So, here are only archers and staff here. Others cannot go in and out.
‘The isolation is one possibility [for prevention] and the main advice is to keep the distance. Only few cases here [in Bangladesh]. It is good if it remains less in number,’ Martin said.
All their preparation could be for naught if the Olympic cave into the increasing outer pressure and postpones the mega event, but for now it has shown no interest to do so with Japan continuing its preparation to host the event.
Most foreign coaches of different teams in Bangladesh have already left the country and returned to their homeland during this global pandemic, but Martin, whose family resides in Germany, is still continuing his work in Bangladesh.
Germany has reported over 23 thousand cases and 93 deaths due to the virus at the time of writing this report, with both numbers increasing every day.
Martin’s family was unaffected by the virus, saying that he was in constant contact with his family.
‘I have good contact [with them] and I am sure they are okay. Both [he and his family] sides are worried for each other…Of course, Germany is an advanced country, but they have to fight a lot at this moment,’ the coach said.
Martin has been working in Bangladesh since 2018 and under his tutelage Bangladesh archers have improved leaps and bounds, with multiple impressive shows in global tournaments.