Monday, 30th October 2017

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Bangkok gold for Cooch Behar trio

Sporting glory for north Bengal as girls and veterans defeat hurdles

By Main Uddin Chisti in Cooch Behar
  • Published 17.02.20, 2:13 AM
  • Updated 17.02.20, 2:13 AM
  • a min read
The girls from Mathabhanga with their coach in Thailand Telegraph picture

Three girls hailing from Cooch Behar district have won gold medals in an international strength lifting competition that was held in Bangkok this month.

All of them are residents of the Mathabhanga sub-division. Sources said a team of 48 players from India participated in the eighth International Strength Lifting and Incline Bench Press Championship-2020 that was held Bangkok from February 13.

“Koyeli Burman won gold in the 46kg category of strength lifting while Megha Sahana and Khadija Khatun came first in the 52kg and 58kg categories, respectively. Khadija has also won the ‘Strong Women of the World’ award,” Bhavesh Chandra Roy, the girls’ coach, told The Telegraph.

The district administration hailed the feat.

“Three of our girls from Mathabhanga have won medals at the international strength-lifting competition held in Thailand. It is a moment of pride for us,” said Paban Kadiyan, the district magistrate of Cooch Behar.

On Saturday, Roy, the coach, informed the administration about their performance.

“The Indian team is the champion at the event. Teams from Pakistan and Thailand have bagged the runners-up and the third position, respectively,” Roy said over phone from Bangkok on Sunday.

“All three girls of our district are from underprivileged families. Their success will inspire more players to join the sports in future,” Roy added.

Khadija, 21, is a resident of Bhaoerthana village, a remote area of Mathabhanga sub-division. She is a final-year student of arts at Mathabhanga College.

“I had never thought that she would achieve such fame at a competition that was held abroad. It is difficult to express how proud we feel for her,” said Awalul Haque, Khadija’s father, a farmer.

Sahana and Koyeli are higher-secondary students.

“We must congratulate them and respect their struggle to achieve success at an international event.

Despite financial crisis in their families, they have made residents and sports lovers of the district proud,” said north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh.

Cash assistance of Rs 25,000 will be given to each of the girls, he added.