Bangladesh’s Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham has come to an end with disappointment in swimming and all other events. Swimmers have finished last in their respective heats. The boxers got eliminated in the first round. There were no positive news from the athletics track as well.

In weight lifting, some got disqualified while others finished eighth out of eight competitors. The defeats continued in the gymnastics and wrestling mats. Table tennis showed a glimmer of hope. Ramhim Lion Bom, Muhtasin Ahmed and co. surprised many by reaching the quarterfinals of the men’s team event in table tennis.

Bangladesh has won two gold medals, four silvers and four bronze medals in its history in Commonwealth Games. All of these medals have come from shooting events. In the absence of shooting and archery, another promising event, in the Birmingham Games Bangladesh has returned empty handed from the Commonwealth Games for the first time after five editions.

However, returning empty handed from international events is nothing new for Bangladesh. The Birmingham Games was just the continuation of a trend that has been going on for decades.

The athletes alone don’t carry the burden of this failure. In a country where international games are treated as an occasion for ‘excursion’ and ‘gaining experience’ by both athletes and federation officials, there’s no reason to blame only the athletes.

Forget Commonwealth Games, Bangladesh hasn’t won a gold medal in the regional meet SA Games for the last 16 years. Officials-athletes, no one seems to have an aim. Without it, how are they supposed to win a medal?

South Asian (SA) Games gold medallist Mabia Akhter gave her career best performance in this year’s Commonwealth Games. Still, she finished eighth out of 12 weightlifters. Mabia couldn’t train properly leading up to the event. She didn’t have a coach, so she had to coach herself. Even then, Mabia managed to lift one kg weight more than what she did in the Gold Coast Games!

Out of the seven disciplines Bangladesh competed in this year’s Commonwealth Games, only the men’s table tennis team directly qualified for the event. Even they had to roam around like nomads for a place to train at. Due to renovation work at the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium, they couldn’t practice there. They sometimes trained at the small corridor of the National Sports Council and sometimes at indoor venues owned by others.

Forget Commonwealth Games, Bangladesh hasn’t won a gold medal in the regional meet SA Games for the last 16 years. Officials-athletes, no one seems to have an aim. Without it, how are they supposed to win a medal?

In this year’s Commonwealth Games, countries like Botswana, Malta, Mozambique and Nauru have won at least one bronze. All of these countries are smaller than Bangladesh, both in size and population.

Actually, the federations in Bangladesh never had long term plans. To them these events are just an opportunity for an abroad trip, gaining experience and clicking some pictures, not a chance to win medals for the country.