Bangladeshi shooters will begin their Commonwealth Games campaign at the Belmont Shooting Range in Brisbane today, hope to end country’s medal drought in the ongoing meet.
Bangladesh managed six medals in their 40-year long Commonwealth Games history and all of them came from shooting.
Abdullah Hel Baki and Rabby Hasan Munna will be at the centre of attention when they will compete in Bangladesh’s signature event, men’s 10-metre air rifle.
Initially Baki, who won a silver in this event four years ago in 2014, was not considered for this event as Bangladesh’s Danish coach Christensen preferred Munna and National Championships gold medallist Risalatul Islam ahead of him.
However, Baki regained his form in the training camp, while Risalatul lost his form, prompting Christensen to give the former another chance.
‘We are very optimistic,’ Christensen told New Age on Saturday ahead of the crucial event. ‘We are lucky enough to have three good 10-metre rifle shooters in our team so it was very difficult to choose two between them [Baki and Risalatul].
‘We had been waiting to make the final decision. At this moment we think that Baki and Munna are our best options so we selected them.’
The Gold Coast Games organising committee decided to hold the shooting events at Brisbane, the neighbouring city, considering its modern facilities.
It is only range in the world which has the capacity to hold each and every events of shooting.
However, the decision created some difficulties for the shooters because the range does not have any air-conditioning facilities.
Christensen, however, claimed that all the participants have to face this situation.
‘It’s true that most likely it will be very hot there but all I can say, it will be the same for all competitors. We just have to adapt to it.’
Baki refused to put any pressure on him by talking about medal prospect.
‘I am not thinking about medal,’ Baki told New Age.
‘I want to play my natural game and try to make the final-eight which is my first target. If I make the final that anything can happen.’
Both Baki and Munna took part in this event four years before in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games but the later failed to make the final-eight on that occasion.
Munna, who managed the silver medal in the Islamic Solidarity Games last year in Baku, claimed to be more matured than he was four years before.
‘I felt no pressure which was really positive for me,’ he said.
‘My first goal is to transform my practice form in the qualification round which I think would be enough to qualify for the top-eight.’
Armin Asha and Ardina Ferdous, two other shooters, will also take part in the women’s 10-metre air pistol event today.
Elsewhere, Bangladesh’s other athletes will also spend a busy day as two athletes — Mezbah Ahmed and Shirin Akter — will take the track today in the heat of the men’s and women’s 100-metre sprints.
Swimmer Ariful Islam and Mahmudunnobi Nahid will take part in the 50-metre breaststroke and 100-metre butterfly events respectively at the Optus Aquatic Centre.
Weightlifter Zahura Akter Nisha will participate in the women’s 75-kg weight category at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.