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Bangladeshi official: Beijing Paralympics, Olympics equally successful
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19:28, September 17, 2008

Beijing Paralympics will be 100 percent as successful as Beijing Olympics, A.S.M. Mofazzel Hossain, president of the National Paralympic Committee of Bangladesh (NPC), said here Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the head of the Bangladeshi Paralympic team said the organizing work and the venues of Beijing Paralympics were "perfect" for the biggest gathering for the disabled people all over the world.

In his 70s, Hossain led a four-member team including a blind sprinter to Beijing Paralympics and stayed in Beijing for more than a week.

"The Bird's Nest, the Water Cube and the Paralympic village impressed me most," said Hossain, adding that it was really enjoyable for him to be in the Bird's Nest during the opening ceremony.

He spoke highly of the facilities and the service inside the Paralympic village, including accommodation, food, security and volunteers. "Chinese people are very literate and cooperative," he said.

On the performance of the only Bangladeshi athlete Abdul Quader Sumon, Hossain said Sumon's performance has improved.

Sumon, a blind sprinter from Dhaka University, competed in male 100-meter and 400-meter by wild card.

Sumon was male 100-meter champion in the national competition held by the NPC before the Beijing Paralympics.

Hossain said his country is facing many challenges in enhancing sports for the disabled, with lack of finance being a major obstacle.

"Sumon was trained only for six months ahead of the Beijing Paralympics," Hossain said.

At present, Bangladesh has only three training centers, with some 70 disabled athletes receiving regular training in track and field, football, weight lifting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

"We have big potentials in track and field, and weight lifting. With more support from the government, the Bangladesh Olympic Association as well as other donors, we can definitely do better in the future," Hossain said.

Bangladesh sent its first Paralympic team to Athens in 2004. A disabled athlete competed in male 100-meter, male 200-meter and male marathon by wild card.

The NPC of Bangladesh was formed in 1981. Hossain was elected president in 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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