The introduction of the new rules helped a promising Syeda Sadia Sultana grab her first gold at the senior level when the 20-year-old shooter from Chittagong won the 10m Air Rifles event of the Bangladesh Games at the National Shooting Complex in Gulshan yesterday.
Sadia had previously won international gold medals in SA Games and Commonwealth Shooting Championship in team events pairing with Sharmin Akter Ratna, but this time she beat her more illustrious partner and Olympian, by taking advantage of the rules which came into effect in January 2013.
The new rules state that there are no accumulated points and qualification scores are null and void in the final round, with a shoot-off constituting 20 shots instead of the previous 10. It ensures that all eight finalists retain an equal chance of winning the gold.
And Sadia took full advantage, despite qualifying for the final in third position (388) behind Ratna (391). In the shoot-off, Sadia shot 207.1 out of 209 and outgunned Ratna who bagged silver with 201.8.
“It is really a nice and surprising result for me,” said Sadia. “I assumed Ratna Apu would win gold medal as I had not had enough practice for the event,” said Sadia adding that she tried to keep her nerve by refraining from looking at the scoreboard. “I hope I will be selected for next year's Youth Olympics and I am looking forward to that,” she said.
The new rules also brought to the fore the new face of Sharmin Akter from BKSP. Sharmin qualified only in seventh for the shoot-off but won the bronze ahead of SA Games gold medalist Sharmin Akter and veteran Subrina Sultana.
In the day's other event, Abdullah Hel Baki won 50m Rifles Three Position gold with a score of 1118.