Mohammad Mahfizur Rahman, 23, is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. His 15-year swimming career began when his father took him to the pool as an eight-year-old. He knew he belonged in the water when he started to swim and watched training videos. Mohammad set national records in freestyle (50, 100, 200, 400, and 1,500 metres). When Mohammad is not training for the Olympics, he serves in the Bangladesh Navy as Senior Chief Petty Officer. He studied World and Bangladeshi Histories at Jahangirnagar University. As one of the few professional swimmers in his homeland, he wants to continue serving the navy as a swim coach.
Mohammad moved to Thailand when he became a FINA Scholarship Programme recipient. FINA selects a candidate by timing on the B or S standard cut. Bangladesh’s federation does not compete in B standard. Mohammad is the only Bangladeshi to achieve the S standard.
Training at Thanyapura has been an amazing experience for Mohammad as he enjoys the accommodation, healthy food and swimming pool. Coach Miguel created personalised training schedules for all swimmers. Mohammad’s training plan focuses on highlighting focus areas in techniques and conditioning before and during competitions. Mohammad values being able to swim in a non-polluted environment and facilities not commonly found in other countries.
Mohammad encountered the most difficult in his career when he suffered a shoulder injury before the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It prevented him from training at full capacity during his first year in the scholarship program. To prepare for the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest 2017 and the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, he added new health and wellness aspects to his training program: meditation, physiotherapy and gym workouts.
“For Rio, I prepared at Thanyapura through the scholarship. There were 20 people from other countries. We trained so hard. It was fun but hard. In 2015, the training isn’t hard. This year, I want to be qualified for Budapest. I am doing different meditation, physiotherapy, gym workouts and different things in my schedule,” Rahman said.
In 2016, Mohammad competed in six competitions and received four gold and five bronze medals.
South Asian Aquatic Championships (SAAC) – Colombo 2016
- 100m freestyle – 53.11 (Bronze)
National Swimming Championships – Dhaka 2016
- 50m freestyle – 23.38 (Gold)
- 100m freestyle – 52.78 (Gold)
- 200m freestyle – 1.57.62 (Gold)
Follow his Facebook @mdmahfizur