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'Olympics medal is still far away'

  • Published at 09:05 pm July 23rd, 2016
  • Last updated at 08:58 pm July 24th, 2016
'Olympics medal is still far away'

Dhaka Tribune Sports (DTS): Have Bangladeshi athletes reached the level where they can practically target a medal?

Asif Hossain Khan (AHK): I think we haven't reached the stage yet where we can consistently plan about getting medals at the Olympics. But we have a lot of time in hand to make a mark. We have reached the level where we fight hard against the big names consistently. Therefore, it won't be surprising if any of our athletes achieve a respectable position or rank. But a medal is still far away I reckon.

DTS: What is your take on the current situation of shooting in Bangladesh?

AHK: The ongoing situation in shooting is much better than the past. At the moment, we have a few good quality world class foreign coaches. None of their kind ever came to Bangladesh before. They are training the Olympic shooting contingent. Currently we are trying our level best to tie them down to a contract spanning till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It'd be a great thing if we are successful in our pursuit.

DTS: How do you rate shooter Abdullah Hel Baki's chances in Rio?

AHK: His prospects are good. I think he can clinch a good position in the overall standings. It's tough to say whether he can claim a medal but a respectable rank is quite achievable.

DTS: Do you have any memorable experience from the Olympics?

AHK: I only ever played at the 2004 Athens Olympics. We see everywhere that spectators are not allowed inside any track or venue, let alone running around with a flag. During one of the several Olympic programmes, out of sheer excitement looking at all the spectators, I suddenly started running around the venue with a Bangladesh flag.

I noticed two security officials running after me. I ran harder but they eventually caught up with me. They thought I emerged from the crowd. When I showed them my accreditation card they apologised and took photos with me. It was a memorable experience for me.

DTS: What do you do in your capacity as a BKSP shooting coach?

AHK: Firstly we select players from all over the country and then we train them for a month. We trim the list and train them for four more months. The selected few are then enrolled at the BKSP. With that said the ones who are not making the cut have nothing to feel sad about because they subsequently get picked by different clubs.

DTS: Many are of the opinion that your playing career came to a premature end. Do you agree?

AHK: No, not at all. I am fully satisfied with my career. No complaints. Now, I just want to give back to the game that has given me so much.