Sharmin Akhter won her first gold in five years in national competitions when the 2004 South Asian Games gold medalist put behind holder Sharmin Akhter Ratna and national gold winner Suraiya Akhter in the 10m Air Rifle event in the IFIC 5th National Air Gun Championships at the National Shooting Complex in Gulshan yesterday.
Sharmin, who won her last gold medal in the 2007 National Shooting Championships, fought neck and neck with Suraiya as she scored 101.8 in shoot-off that eventually helped her overcome a one-point deficit from the qualification round. Sharmin had scored 387 points in qualification against Suraiya's 388. However, that score was far below Sharmin's best effort of 395.
The gold medal was decided by a mere 0.1 points as Sharmin scored a total of 388.8 while Suriya scored 388.7 points to stay content with a silver medal.
However, defending champion Sharmin Akhter Ratna frustrated by scoring only 484.5 points to take the bronze. Ratna, gold medalist in the SA Games and Commonwealth Shooting Championships, scored 385 in the qualification, 13 points less than her best. Ratna, who
represented Bangladesh in the London Olympic Games, had won the gold in the last edition with a score of 498.6 points (qualification scores was 396).
“I feel happy because I won a gold medal after a long time,” was the instant reaction of Sharmin, who prepared herself in the last 15 days while also studying for her honours final exam. Sharmin is a student Islamic History and she is supposed to sit for her last paper on Saturday.
“Having trailed by one point in the qualification, I had no option but to do very well in the shoot-off. I managed to hold my nerve to score 101.8 points,” said Sharmin.
“Since winning gold in the 2007 national meet, I had often finished behind either gold or silver medalists at different competitions but could not finish on top,” Sharmin said.
Meanwhile in the Air Pistol event, Raihanul Islam of Bangladesh Army won the gold medal with a score of 663, three ahead of her teammate Mahendra Kumar, who won the silver medal. Nadimul Islam of the same team finished third with a score of 652.2.