The president and the general secretary of the International Shooting Sports Federation arrived in Dhaka last night on a two-day visit.
President Vladimir Lisin and General Secretary Alexander Ratner – both elected during the last general assembly in November last year, will talk to the stakeholders of the Bangladesh Shooting Sports Federation (BSSF) and local sports authorities regarding bilateral issues, it has been learnt.
“The president and the general secretary of ISSF will meet our executive committee members, our shooters and see for themselves the infrastructure in place tomorrow [Saturday] morning. They will attend a dinner hosted by us where the sports minister, BOA secretary general and other sports administrators will be present,” BSSF general secretary Enthekhabul Hamid told The Daily Star last night.
With the lofty intention of winning at least one medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under 'Vision 2020', the BSSF has had some reality checks in the form of results from international events. Even though Bangladesh have continued their good run in Commonwealth Games, bagging two silver medals in last year's event in Australia, the shooters have failed to even reach the final round of the subsequent Asian Games, showing that there is still yawning gap between where the shooters currently stand and the expectations set by the federation.
The BSSF GS is hopeful that this visit by the two most powerful men in the international shooting body might help realise some of the long-term plans of the federation.
“We will propose our demands to the ISSF representatives which include assistance in turning the Gulshan Shooting Range into a full-fledged international venue. We will also ask for international standard coaches to train our shooters. We will also discuss how the ISSF can help us in other areas to grow the game,” Hamid said.
Although Hamid spoke about asking for coaches, he did say that the training for the 2020 Olympics will continue under the current coaches.
The BSSF had appointed Danish rifle coach Klavs Christensen in December, 2016 for a four-year term under the Vision 2020 project and later appointed Montenegrin pistol coach Marko Sokic in January, 2017 to the same end. Although Christensen is believed to have contributed to the number of good results by the rifle shooters in the Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic Qualifiers, he left Bangladesh in October last year allegedly due to the federation's fund constraints. Pistol coach Sokic, however, left his job after a poor performance by the pistol team in last year's Commonwealth Games.
Currently pistol shooters are training under a new coach from South Korea while the rifle shooters will continue their training under local coach Shiplu, who worked as deputy to Christensen during his reign.