Bangladesh shoots 1st World Cup event in Berlin
Bangladesh’s archery team has been to world championships and received invitation places to recent Olympic Games, one in 2012 for a man and one in 2016 for a woman, but had never entered a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup – until Berlin.
Four recurve men, two compound men, and two women – one recurve, one compound – travelled to the fourth stage of the international tour in 2018.
“We feel very proud to participate here and we hope to gain experience from this competition for the future,” said the Bangladesh federation’s sport director, Rahman Mohammed Anisur.
The trip is part of the nation’s new high-performance and development plan, which started earlier in the year with the hiring of German-born Martin Frederick as head coach.
“Our plan is for five years, and we hope we can keep Martin in Bangladesh for at least that long, so that we can do something in archery,” explained Rahman.
Through short-term development projects and a dedicated training group, Bangladesh has produced archers with potential in recent years – but they missed expert coaches. The hope is that results will now follow.
Frederick started out as a coach in the Berlin region, and then led the German junior archery squad before moving on to the seniors in 2005. He left in 2010 to join Chile, where he stayed until leaving in 2017.
Martin’s role in Bangladesh is to train compound and recurve archers for international competitions, but also develop new training and administration structures and spot new youth talent to bring into the programme.
He’s already implemented new selection and schedule policies – that should yield a sustained influx of young people with potential.
“I’m German, and Germans like to plan,” he said. “It’s also good motivation for the athletes if they have a clear goal.”
In Bangladesh, there are professional archers. There are maybe more professional archers than other countries, but their results are not up to Frederick’s standard.
“I'm not happy with that, so I must be more strict, stronger, and more in control,” he said.
The team is now preparing for the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in August. It’s a major event on the continent and in Bangladesh, the interest is huge.
“They say it's a little Olympic Games,” Federicks added.
The full team has been living and training together in preparation for Jakarta, with the exception of Ruman Shana. Shana is one of three athletes currently on a programme supported by Olympic Solidarity to live and train at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne, as he attempts to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I'm happy to have him back after Berlin, for the last three weeks [before the Games] together,” said Martin.
For those weeks, it’ll be three training sessions a day, every day – and the Bangladeshi archers will arrive in Indonesia prepared and with a Hyundai Archery World Cup worth of competition experience under their belts.
The fourth stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Berlin, Germany on 16 to 22 July.