Ansar’s Mukti Khatun and Gopalganj Swimming Club’s Md Islam respectively emerged as best swimmers in the girls and boys groups during the Bangabandhu 34th age-level swimming and diving competition at the Syed Nazrul Islam National Swimming Complex in Mirpur on Tuesday.
Mukti bagged a total of 11 gold medals and two silver medals including three national records in the 200m individual medley, 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke in the U-18/20 girls’ category.
“I’ve been competing since 2009 and I think my biggest achievement was when I finished top at Shera Satarur Khoje Bangladesh, a talent hunt programme in 2017. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarded me,” Mukti told The Daily Sun after her events.
Sheikh Hasina at that time awarded Mukti and the other seven best swimmers of that talent hunt programme Tk 5 lakh each for their excellent performances. The Kushtia girl became champion in the U-15/16 girls group. Alike Mukti, swimmer Islam was also one of the recipients of the same talent hunt programme as he became champion in the U-13/14 boys group.
“That (talent hunt) was the real inspiration for me and because of that, I’m able to come to this stage today. Last year, I got just one gold medal but I did a lot of hard work because it is my last competition at the age-level. I tried to achieve something big in this edition,” said the Kishoreganj swimmer.
“Now, my dream is to earn a South Asian gold medal for Bangladesh. Also, I want to represent Bangladesh in Olympics like Ariful vai (swimmer Ariful Islam). If I get better training like him, I will fulfil my dream,” he added.
Meanwhile, a total of 11 national records were made in 11 events – eight swimming and three diving during the three day meet. On the last and final day, Mukti made a record of timing 2:51:75min in 200m individual medley while BKSP’s Md Hossain made records in 5m platform diving (246.10) and 3m springboard (232.40).