Amidst disappointments from senior shooters, 16th years old Arnab Sharar gave enough reasons for the country to smile as he captured silver medal in the youth section of 10m air rifle event in the 10th Asian Airgun Championships in Wako, Japan yesterday.
There was another reason for Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) and the nation to celebrate as new shooting prodigy Arnab earned a place directly in next year’s Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires.
He will become the second Bangladeshi athlete to participate in the Youth Olympics directly following archer Emdadul Haque Milon, who did so in 2010. Arnab, who had a mixed fortune while qualifying for the for the eight-shooter final round as he scrambled in at sixth position with a score of 620.9 points.
But in the finals, he was on fire as he was extremely unlucky to finished at podium for a silver medal as he missed the coveted gold medal by a whisker.
The Arnab, BKSP student from Satkhira was in top form as accumulated 249.5 points in the final round, falling 0.5 points short of eventual champion Changhong Zhang of China. The bronze medal went to India’s Shahu Tushar Mane way behind with the score of 228.2 points.
The success of Arnab lesser the pains for BOA and Bangladesh Shooting Federation (BSF) members who were frustrated at the dismal performances from the seniors and juniors who failed to make it to the final round despite getting the opportunities for long time preparation under coach Klavs Christensen.
Arnab’s achievement was like a rainbow in the sky for Bangladesh contingent as the dismal performances continued into earlier Saturday morning when Syeda Atkia Hassan Disha had finished 20th among 23 competitors in the junior women’s section of 10m air rifle event.
It was Arnab’s first international success since his debut in the 9th Asian Airgun Championships in Iran last year. This year, Arnab took part in two other international tournaments — the Junior World Championships and the World Cup in Germany.
His best international feat was till date was a 9th-place finish in 10m air rifle event during the World Cup in Delhi last year.
BOA Secretary General Shahed Reza talking to BSS on telephone said, “We are delighted at Arnab’s feat and also proud as he became the second Bangladeshi athlete to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires next year and his achievement will be an inspiration for other young budding shooters”.