Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) president and Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed fired the torch at 11 a.m. of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games at the birthplace of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj on Wednesday.
Later, the torch brought through a rally in Dhaka. The country’s 18 former athletes, split into 10 phases, carried it -- cricketer Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, footballers Sheikh Aslam and Elias Hossain, volleyball player Jesmin Khan Popy, handball players Khayeruzzaman and Dalia Akter, swimmer Shajahan Ali Rony, wushu players Mesbah Uddin and Eti Islam, taekwondo athlete Mijanur Rahman, archer ImdadulHaqueMilon, basketball player MithunSarker, athlete ForhadJesminLiti, Kabaddi player ShahanajParvin, Karateka Jo U Pru, table tennis player MahbubBillah, shooter SharminAkterRatna and boxer Juwel Ahemd Jony.
BOA secretary general Syed Shahed Reza received the torch in Dhaka and handed it over to the sports minister Zahid Ahsan Russell, MP.
The 9th edition of the country's biggest multi-sports event will kick off with a colourful inaugural ceremony on Thursday at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to virtually inaugurate the meet.