August 16, 2016 - 8:50am
Bangladesh's participation at the Rio Olympic Games came to a sorry end on Sunday after golfer Siddikur Rahman finished 59th out of 60 participants in the individual strokeplay event.
The flagbearer of Bangladesh at these Games, Siddikur exchanged seven bogeys for three birdies in the fourth round at the Olympic Golf Course for an aggregate score of 11-over (295). Having become the first Bangladeshi to qualify for the Olympics, Siddikur's lowly finish will have disappointed a lot of his fans back home.
The 31-year-old said that the golf course here is quite different from those he usually plays on in Asia, where the courses are short and with fewer hazards. This type of golf course, he said, are the ones that get one prepared for the best tournaments like the PGA Tour events.
Siddikur was part of a seven-athlete team from Bangladesh, with the six others being archer Shyamoly Roy, shooter Abdullah Hel Baki, sprinters Mezbah Ahmed and Shirin Akter, swimmers Mahfizur Rahman Sagar and Sonia Akter Tumpa.
Being the most populous nation never to have won an Olympic medal, there was not much expectation in the country's ninth appearance in the world's biggest sports extravaganza. However, there was some hope against hope that there might be a surprise result or two, especially in golf and shooting. But that was not to be; shooter Baki finished 25th among 50 competitors in 10m air rifle event while Siddikur hardly did justice to his reputation.
The Games started with Shyamoly losing her round-of-32 match (opening round) in 3-0 sets while both the sprinters failed to even get close to their official best times. The swimmers, though, were the only positives from this campaign as both of them bettered their previous bests.
Even though their engagement in these Games are over, the Bangladeshi athletes, except for Siddikur, will stay on in Rio and return a couple of days after the closing ceremony takes place at the Maracana on August 21.