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Expat sprinter Imran dreams big for Bangladesh

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 10 October, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

England-born Bangladeshi sprinter Imran Khan on Saturday said that he wants to win a gold medal for the nation in the upcoming South Asian Games. 

“I want to achieve the highest feat for my parents, motherland. My dream is to earn a gold medal in the South Asian Games and also a medal in the Asian Games. I received a call from the English team but I want to represent my country,” Imran told the reporters at the BNS press conference room.

Imran, who arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday, went through a trial at BKSP tracks on Saturday. He took 10.40sec (hand timing) in 100m and 6.50sec (hand timing) in 60m trails.

Imran’s best record in 100m is 10.27sec (electronic timing) which was made in Lee Valley Athletics Competition this year.

His best record in 60m is 6.68sec (electronics) which he made in British University Indoor Athletics Competition a few years back.

Bangladesh’s running fastest men -- seven-time national champions Mezbah Ahmed’s best timing is 10.72sec while three-time national champions Hasan Mia’s best timing is 10.61sec and two-time national champions Mohammed Ismail’s best timing is 10.71sec.

The current SA Games gold medalist Maldivian sprinter Hassan Saaid’s best timing is 10.49sec.

Bangladesh sprinters could earn only three gold medals in the SA Games so far with legendary sprinter Shah Alam clinching twice in 1985 and 1987 while Bimal Chandra Tarafdar winning once in 1991.

“I’ve been communicating with the federation for last two years but Covid-19 delayed the procedure. I also have my Bangladeshi passport. This time, I came only for the trial, not for the competitions. If they (federation) select me, I will come with full preparations at least 15-day before the competition,” the expat sprinter added.

The Bangladesh Athletics Federation General Secretary Adv Abdur Rakib Montu said that they were impressed with Imran’s trial but they didn’t want to repeat the same mistake with Imran that they previously did with USA-born athlete Alida Sikder.

The federation earlier directly sent Alida to compete in the long jump event during the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan in 2017 but the athlete put Bangladesh in an awkward situation by withdrawing from the competition only a few hours before the schedule citing stomach problem and jet lag.

“His fitness is up to the mark and today’s performance was also good. Last time, we sent Alida to compete without any trials but Imran has to go through proper selection procedure before appearing on the tracks,” said Rakib.