Golfer Siddikur Rahman became the first Bangladeshi sports personality to qualify for the Olympic Games after he was placed in 56th position in the final eligibility list for the Rio 2016 Games yesterday. The latest and final list, which is updated each week corresponding to world golf rankings, was updated late last night, confirming the 31-year-old’s participation in the games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to 21.
“The two-year qualification process for golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years has been completed today with the publication of the Final Olympic Golf Rankings,” read a statement on the website of International Golf Federation.
“With no fewer than 40 countries included in the Final Rankings across the men’s and women’s competitions, to be played at Reserva de Marapendi Golf Course between August 11 and 20, the composition of the Olympic fields will highlight the broad global diversity of the sport in Rio de Janeiro,” added the statement.
The confirmation ensured that the two-time Asian Tour winning golfer will be the first Bangladeshi to participate in the Olympic Games through qualification, as all the other athletes to have participated so far have done so through wild cards provided to each national Olympic association by the International Olympic Committee to encourage participation for all countries.
Siddikur was ecstatic on hearing the news of the confirmation of his participation.
“This is a great honour for me as well as for the game of golf. I believe no other sportsman from the country ever took part in the Olympic Games through qualification before this. So I am honoured and glad that I will be representing my country through the game I play in Rio de Janeiro,” the 31-year-old told The Daily Star last night.
Having slipped out of the eligibility list in April, the Bangladeshi golfer stormed back into contention the following month by finishing second in the prestigious Afr-Asia Mauritius Open. Since then he has been confident about holding the position, so much so that he had already booked his flight for Rio de Janeiro.
“I have already booked a ticket for Rio and hopefully I will be able to make my country proud in the golf event, which will be held in 72-hole strokeplay format over four days,” said the ace golfer.
Bangladesh have thus far earned four wild cards for this year’s games – two for swimmers Mahfizur Rahman Sagor and Sonia Akter Tumpa and one each for archer Shyamoly Roy and shooter Abdullahel Baki. The Bangladesh officials are still hoping of getting at least another wild card by the time the distribution of the cards ends on July 14.
Source: The Daily Star