August 10, 2016 - 1:57pm
Bangladesh's ace golfer Siddikur Rahman said he was thrilled to be at the Olympics and surprised to see the response he has been getting from people. The two-time Asian Tour winner became the first Bangladeshi athlete to qualify for the Rio 2016 on merit, an achievement which drove him to carry the national flag at the Games' opening ceremony at the hallowed Maracana Stadium on August 5.
"It's been awesome, the feedback from this (qualifying for the Games) has been way bigger than when I won two titles (on the Asian Tour). It is so inspiring," Siddikur said during an official press conference on Monday, ahead of the golf event, which starts on Thursday.
The 31-year-old golfer will be part of an elite 60-man field, despite four of the top-ranked golfers skipping the event due to fears of the Zika virus, as golf makes its return to the Games after a 112-year hiatus.
Having failed to make the cut in Thailand's King's Cup a little more than a week ago, the Bangladeshi golfer has been practising eight hours a day at the Olympic Golf Course for the last four days. He is relishing the atmosphere of training alongside stars like Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler, Danny Willet.
While Siddikur's event still has a day to go, Bangladesh's lone archer Shyamoly Roy will be playing her 1/32 round match against Gabriella Ballardo of Mexico. The 22-year-old from Narail finished 53rd out of 64 competitors in the ranking round of the recurve bow event after scoring a total of 600 points on Friday.