Abdullah Hel Baki brought Bangladesh its first medal in the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games yesterday when he won silver in the 10m Air Rifle event finishing second to India's Abhinav Bindra.
The 24-year-old shooter from Gazipur, who qualified for the eight-man final round after finishing fifth in the qualification with a score of 620 points, scored 202.1 points out of 218 in the final shoot-off, 3.2 points less than gold-medal winner Bindra.
“It is the best achievement of my career,” Baki told reporters after winning the silver medal.
“I could have won gold had I put my best performance. From the beginning, I was trying to give my best but to be honest I could not do so,” said Baki. “Despite that, it is a big achievement for me to fight against an experienced shooter like Bindra.”
Baki, who is affiliated with the Dhaka Rifle Club, had been tipped to win a medal from these Games following his impressive performance in the ISSF World Cup in June. Baki was one of the shooters who was selected by the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) to undergo a special training under Korean coach Jong Hyun Lee since February.
In the final round, Baki was trailing by 2.4 points from 2006 Commonwealth Gold winner Bindra up to the first six shots and never managed to close the gap, which widened to 2.5 points after the 18th shot, leaving Bangladesh's premier shooter needing an incredible performance in the last two shots to overcome the deficit.
But Baki managed only 19.7 points against Bindra's 20.4 in the final two shots and had to be content with a silver medal. This is however his second medal from the Commonwealth Games as he, along with Asif Hossain Khan, had won a bronze medal in 10m Air Rifle team event at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.
“Baki had been performing pretty consistently in training, but during the event his performance fluctuated which is the reason he failed to clinch the gold,” admitted coach Jong Hyun Lee who is with the team in Glasgow.
Baki is Bangladesh's second shooter to win an individual medal in the 10m Air Rifle event in Commonwealth Games after Asif, who had won gold in the 2002 edition and then went on to win a silver medal in the following edition.
Meanwhile, Baki's teammate Rabbi Munna finished 15th out of 18 in the same event with a score of 605.3 points while Armin Asha reached the final round of the 10m Women's Air Pistol as the fifth finisher but finished eighth in the final round. Asha's teammate Andrina Ferdous finished tenth in the same event.