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Hamidul Islam wins first gold for Bangladesh in 11th SA Games..

Veteran lifter Hamidul Islam wrote his name in golden letters in the history of the country’s weightlifting clinching the first gold medal for Bangladesh in the SA Games in the 77 Kg weight category today (Monday).

Hamidul, lifted a total of 257 kgs to present the maiden gold to Bangladesh on the 3rd day of the competition at the NSC gymnasium this (Monday) afternoon. He lifted 117 kgs in snatch and 140 kgs in clean & jerk.

This was the first international gold for Bangladesh in weightlifting since the emergence of independent Bangladesh.

With the day’s feat, Army lifter Hamidul’s five-year-long effort finally succeeded as he proved his supremacy in the event after winning the silver medal in Islamabad SAF Games and the bronze in the Colombo SA Games.

Hamidul, who has been training hard for the last 13 months, lifted 117 kgs in snatch and 140 kgs in clean & jerk to make the total 257, just two kgs more than his compatriot Monoranjan Roy.

Monoranjan Roy, also from Bangladesh Army, won the event’s silver medal lifting total 255 kgs -- 120 kgs in snatch and 135 kgs in clean & jerk.

Mohammad Mustafa Karamand of Afghanistan became a distant third to take the bronze lifting 90 kgs in snatch, 110 kgs in clean & jerk (total 200 kgs).

This was also a glorious chapter for Bangladesh that its weightlifters won both the gold and silver medals for the second time in an event apart from shooting.

Soon after winning the gold, an ecstatic Hamidul in his immediate reaction said: “‘I don’t have words to express my feelings. It is like a dream come true after a long time. I’ve been working very hard to win the gold for the country, not just for me. I’m happy that I’ve achieved my target.”

Hamidul spoke of another motivation behind his success. “I was really motivated by the gesture of the Prime Minister, who called us at her residence and asked us to do something for the nation. I pledged to myself that this time I must win the gold, and I’m happy that finally I have done it.”

BOA Secretary General Kutubuddin Ahmed congratulated Hamidul on his feat. “Congratulations Hamidul,” he said. “You have shown us the way… we’ll continue the training for further successes in the upcoming challenges.”

National weightlifting coach Motaleb Bhulu also expressed his satisfaction over the Hamidul feat, saying: “I’m very happy to be able to do something for the country… this is the best prize of my 12-year (coaching) career.”

In the men’s 85 Kg weight category, Abdullah Al Mamun of Bangladesh took the bronze medal at the same venue this (Monday) afternoon.

Earlier, on Sunday, Ekramul Haque won the first silver medal for Bangladesh in the SA Games weightlifting finishing second in the senior group of 56 Kg weight category lifting total 228 kgs.

Ekramul Haq, who won the bronze medal in the last SA Games, lifted 102 kgs in snatch and 126 kgs in clean & jerk to clinch the silver.

WA Kamal of Sri Lanka clinched the event’s gold lifting 95 kg in snatch and 135 kg in clean & jerk (total 230 kgs) while Abdulah Gafoor of Pakistan took the bronze lifting 97 kgs in snatch and 125 kgs in clean & jerk (total 222 kgs).


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