Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sadia upsets Ratna in epic battle

Syeda Sadia Sultana made full use of a new ruling to come from behind and claim her first gold medal at the senior level in the 10-metre air rifle shooting event at the
eighth Bangladesh Games in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The 20-year old shooter from Chittagong Rifles Club shocked Sharmin Akter Ratna, the 2010 South Asian Games gold medalist and Bangladesh’s representative at the 2012 London Olympics, who had to be satisfied with silver.
Young BKSP prodigy Sharmin Akter, one of the four Sharmins to participate in the event, displayed some extraordinary flair to lead until the half-way stage though her inexperience compelled her to finish third.
Sadia, who won silver behind Ratna in the SA Games, turned the tables this time with some stunning shooting in the final round that saw eight finalists each taking 20 shots under the new rule.
The rule, which came into effect in January this year, made the score of the qualifying round insignificant and doubled the number of shots from 10 to 20 in the final round, whose score only came into the reckoning in determining the three medalists.
It meant that the eight finalists all had an equal chance of winning, irrespective of the qualifying score.
In another significant change to the rule, the shooters had to complete their shots in a certain time-frame and after eight shots, they were each eliminated one by one.
BKSP faithful Sharmin, who admitted she had no idea what shooting was all about when she was enrolled at the academy, seemed to be the first beneficiary of the rule as she lead the events after the first 10 shots, despite finishing seventh in qualifying.
Sadia and Sharmin Akter, the 2004 SA Games gold medalist and current national champion, was neck-to-neck with Sharmin before the later was eliminated after 16 shots.
Pre-event favourite Ratna clawed her way back and ensured her place in the top-two after 18 shots. Sadia, who was already leading the Olympian by a fair margin, however, kept her composure in the final two shots and eventually finished with 207.1 against Ratna’s 201.8.
‘It’s a nice, pleasant surprise for me,’ said Sadia, who missed her Secondary School Certificate examinations for three consecutive years because of shooting before completing the task this year.
‘I had very little practice and did not think I could win this time. I was so nervous that I could not look at
the score of anyone else,’ said an ecstatic Sadia, the national junior champion in 2009.
‘I hope this will help me to get selected for next year’s youth Olympics and I am looking forward to that,’ added Sadia.
Silver medalist Ratna took no grudge in her defeat to Sadia and said if she could maintain the same intensity, she would win gold medals in the future international events.
‘She was doing really well today and I am happy for her,’ said Ratna, the Bangladesh Ansar and VDP shooter.
‘I think the new rule has both its advantages and disadvantages. We came
to know about this only a few days earlier. I am sure I can do better with more practice in the days to come,’ added Ratna.
Bronze medalist Sharmin said it was an unexpectedly good result in an
event which was keenly contested by some senior shooters with international repute.
‘When I got admitted to BKSP in 2009, I did not know anything about the sport,’ said the 16-year old, hailing from Chandpur. ‘But now I am a keen follower of the game and really enjoying my shooting. Hopefully I will get some success in the future.’
Former BKSP shooter Sharmin Akhter, who represented the Comilla Rifles Club, finished fourth while veteran Sabrina Sultana came fifth.
In the men’s 50-metre rifle three positions, the only other event held on Tuesday, Abduallah Hel Baki of Dhaka Rifle Club claimed gold medal with a score of 1118.
The silver and bronze medals went to Golam Shafiuddin Khan and Jubaer Ahmed respectively.
Teams Gold Silver Bronze Total
Army 20 13 13 46
Navy 19 16 8 44
Ansar 18 20 18 56
BJMC 12 16 11 39
BKSP 11 5 14 30

-With New Age input

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