Sacrifice pays off for karate players

Bangladesh’s Humayra Akter Antara (L) and Marjana Akter Pia celebrate with the national flag after clinching gold medals in karate of the 13th SA Games in Kathmandu, Nepal on Tuesday. — BOA photo

Hard work and perseverance paid off in gold for three Bangladesh karate athletes on Tuesday, as they brought home the top-prize of their event in the 13th South Asian Games at the Karate Training Hall in Satdobato, Nepal.

Humayra Akter Antara, Mohammad Al Amin and Marzana Akter Pia won one gold medal each for their country in their respective weight categories event in kumite.

Antara, who became Bangladesh’s first medalist in this year’s Games after winning bronze in women’s individual karate on Monday, bagged gold in the Kumite women’s 61kg category by beating Nepal’s Anu Gurang by 5-2 points in the final.

Antara, who sat in the Higher Secondary Certification exam earlier this year, had to sacrifice the chance of sitting in medical and university entrance tests in order to prepare for the SA Games.

But all her sacrifice was not for nothing as she has now fulfilled her life-long dream of becoming an SA Games gold medallist.

‘There is nothing that can make me happier than this. I had to sacrifice many things, including my studies for the Games,’ overjoyed Antara told Bangladeshi reporters after winning the gold medal.

‘Since I started karate, it was my dream to win gold medal in SA Games. I dreamt about it all the time. I fulfilled it today [Tuesday],’ she added.

Bangladesh army member Al Amin followed the footsteps of fellow army man Dipu Chakma, who had won Bangladesh’s first gold medal in the Games in taekwondo on Monday, by bagging a gold medal in the kumite men’s 60kg category.

The 25-year old from Rajshahi defeated Pakistan’s Jafar Iqbal by 7-3 points in the final after beating Nepal’s Rajib Podasani by 7-5 points in the semi-final.

Al Amin was proud of his achievement and asked for higher training in abroad to further develop his skills to bring home more accolades in the international stage.

‘Since I brought the second gold for Bangladesh, I am feeling really proud. It gives me immense pleasure that I could lift the flag of Bangladesh in abroad through my effort,’ Al Amin said.

‘I need higher training in abroad to develop my current level to world level. If I can do that, I will be able to do better at the world stage,’ he added.

In the kumite women’s 55kg weight category, Pia defeated Pakistan’s Kausar Sana by 4-3 points in the final to win the second gold of the day for Bangladesh.

The 19-year old was overwhelmed with joy, and continually thanked her coaches and trainers for supporting her journey in karate.

’I thank the almighty that I could bring as such a big honour for my country. I also thank my parents, who supported me to reach this stage. Then I thank my coaches, who trained me,’ said Pia to media.

Bangladesh now have a chance of overtaking their previous best performance in karate at the SA Games, which was in 2010 at home where they won a total of seven gold medals.

Source: New Age.

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