Various sporting events around the world were postponed or canceled for the majority of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, many sports events were organized in accordance with health guidelines in 2021. The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games was the most significant of these. Bangladesh's performance at the Olympics was disappointing as usual. Bangladeshi athletes failed to win any medals in the Tokyo Olympics. Women performed better individually and in groups than males this year. The most noteworthy moments of Bangladesh sports in 2021 are discussed in this article.
2021 Year in Review: A Glimpse at the Notable Moments in Bangladesh Sports
Cricket and football are the most popular sports in Bangladesh. Bangladesh's men's teams had a disappointing year in these two sports. However, the Bangladesh women's cricket team and the Bangladesh Under-19 football team enjoyed significant success at the end of the year. Aside from that, Bangladeshi athletes have had great success in individual events. Let's take a look at some of Bangladesh's major sporting incidents in 2021.
The Bangladesh Kabaddi Federation hosted the Bangabandhu Kabaddi Cup in the first quarter of the year. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kenya, Poland, and Bangladesh, the host country, competed in the tournament. The men's Kabaddi team from Bangladesh won all of their games in the group stage. Bangladesh won the tournament by defeating Kenya 34-28 in the final. It was one of Bangladesh's most notable sporting successes in 2021.
Bangladesh cricket saw various ups and downs in 2021. The men's cricket team of Bangladesh had a disastrous T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. They also lost a handful of Test series at home. Two of Bangladesh's men's cricket team's notable successes were winning the T20I series against Australia and New Zealand at home. In contrast to the men's team, the Bangladesh Women's National Team had a successful year. Bangladesh women's team qualified for the ICC One-Day International World Cup in 2022 after winning a bilateral series in Zimbabwe. The BCB was under fire from the media and supporters in the second half of the year.
The Bangladesh national men's football team competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the year 2021, a four-nation event, and the SAFF Championship. Bangladesh placed fifth in World Cup qualifying group F and third in the four-nation tournament. Despite a strong start to the campaign, Bangladesh finished fourth in the group stage of the SAFF Championship. Therefore, Bangladesh men's football team had a bad year in 2021.
On the other hand, the Bangladesh U19 Women's team performed well throughout their campaign in the 2021 SAFF U19 Championship. They became the undefeated winners after defeating India 1-0 in the final. It was their second title in a row. The sports year 2021 in Bangladesh came to a close with this great achievement of women.
Bangladesh hosted the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy for the first time in December. Bangladesh national men's hockey team was given the chance to play in the Champions Trophy for the first time as the host country. Malaysia was one of six teams invited to play, however, they were unable to compete due to coronavirus restrictions. Bangladesh was eliminated from the competition after losing all four matches in the group stage. South Korea won the championship for the first time after beating Japan 4-2 in a penalty shootout.
During the 2021 Archery World Cup, Ruman Shana and Diya Siddique took silver in the recurve mixed team event. In the final, Bangladesh finished second behind the Netherlands. Despite losing 5–1 in the final, it was Bangladesh's best result in an Archery World Championship. It was also the first time Bangladesh has reached the final of a World Cup event in Archery.
Maksuda Akhter, the first Bangladeshi woman to compete in an international bodybuilding competition, participated in the IHFF Olympia Amateur Bodybuilding Championship in Mumbai. Out of 30 bodybuilders, Maksuda placed third.
She advanced to the top eight in the preliminary round and was chosen third runner-up in the final by the judges. Her victory was a watershed moment for her, and women in Bangladesh may take a lot of encouragement from it.
In total, 73 shooters from nine nations competed in the Bangabandhu tournament organized by the Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation: India, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Singapore, and Bangladesh. Munna shone brightest among Bangladeshi shooters, claiming gold with a score of 626.8. While Syeda Atkia Hossain took silver with a score of 623.3 in the women's 10m air rifle event. Another Bangladeshi shooter, Shakil Ahmed won bronze in the air pistol event.
Bangladesh at the 2020 Summer Olympics
Six Bangladesh athletes competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics, representing four sports: archery, athletics, shooting, and swimming. In the mixed event of Archery, Ruman Shana and Diya Siddiqui were close to winning a medal in the event but were defeated by South Korea in the Round of 16.
In Athletics, sprinter Mohammad Jahir Rayhan failed to move to the next round. He was knocked out from the heat. Swimmers Mohammed Ariful Islam and Junayna Ahmed did not progress from their heats, while shooter Abdullah Hel Baki came in 41st place in the Men's 10-meter air rifle event. Overall, Bangladesh's participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics was a disappointment.
Until recently, no one from Bangladesh had ever gained a reputation for himself on the world racing stage. Motorsport lover Avik Anwar, became the first Bangladeshi to finish third in the UAE Pro Car Championship in February 2021.
Later in November, Avik Anwar won the NGK Pro Car Championship with the Toyota GT86 Model Car at the Yas Marina Formula 1 track in the UAE, beating off Helal Almazrouei and Fahad Alzaabi. It was a significant milestone for him, and his efforts will undoubtedly inspire Bangladesh's motorsport enthusiasts.
When looking at the most memorable achievements of the sports in Bangladesh in 2021, it is clear that women have accounted for the majority of the successes. Therefore, more government support is required for women to succeed in the field of sports.
Furthermore, each designated sports board must devote special emphasis to improving facilities for female athletes. Meanwhile, the men's cricket team of Bangladesh had a very poor showing in 2021. Some of the great triumphs of the Men's team have also sparked controversy.
On the other hand, the women's cricket team had a successful year. Similarly, Bangladesh's major football success came through its age-based women's team. Bangladesh has had an eventful year in the field of sports overall.