A 10-member Bangladesh shooting team will leave for Japan today to take part in the 10th Asian Airgun Championships, to be held in Wako City from December 6 to 12, with hopes focused on the junior and youth events.
The Airgun championships feature three sections -- senior, junior and youth, with the latter category played as the qualification event for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Risalatul Islam, Rabiul Islam, Arnab Sharar, Syeda Atkia Hasan Disha and Synthia Naznin Tumpa will take part in air rifle events in three different categories while SA Games gold medallist Shakil Ahmed, Anwar Hossain and Ardina Ferdous Akhi will be participating in the pistol events in the senior category.
Commonwealth Games silver medalist Abdullah Hel Baki, Rabbi Hasan Munna and Armin Asha were also supposed to be part of the Bangladesh contingent but did not get the approval from their team, Bangladesh Navy.
Bangladesh grabbed two silver medals in the youth team events in the 9th Asian Airgun Championship held in Tehran, Iran in December 2016, but this time Bangladeshi shooters will be taking part only in individual events as they failed to form teams following the unavailability of some shooters.
Danish coach Klavs Christensen is optimistic about Rabibul's chances in the junior category while Arnab is also expected to do well in the same category to earn a place for the Youth Olympic Games.
“He [Rabiul] is a junior shooter, who is doing very well in the 10m air rifle event and he has a good chance to qualify for the shoot-off round. I believe he can do better in the championships,” said Christensen, who has been working with the shooters for nearly one year.
“Arnab is also doing fine in the youth category. He will have an opportunity to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games if he produces good results in the youth category as the best three shooters are likely to qualify for the Youth Olympics,” Christensen added.
The Danish coach is also optimistic about Syeda Atkia Hasan Disha in the junior event, who along with Mahfuza Jannat Jui and Sharmin Akter bagged the youth women's silver medal in the 10m air rifle team event in Iran.