New Delhi, Oct 29 : Indian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu has pulled out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to the compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes. The former world number one thinks that forcing athletes to wear a hijab is against the spirit of a sport. “Sport is an exhibition of sheer Human Effort Performance. Our ability to dig deep for Strength, Will Power and Determination.
“This is d reason I compete n I cannot compete for anything lesser than this. But I wud also not have my personal opinion politicised,” Sidhu wrote on her twitter handle. The championship is scheduled be held in Iran’s capital Tehran in December. The two-time Olympian had written to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) about her decision of withdrawing from the competition.
“I thank the NRAI for respecting my views n I wud also like 2wish luck 2 r team competing in Iran. Lets concentrate on competition dan hijab.” She further said, “Im proud 2 b sportsperson coz ppl from diff cultures, backgrouds, sexes, ideologies, religion can cum 2gether n compete without biases. “Im not a revolutionary. But I feel dat making it mandatory for even a sportsperson to wear hijab is not in the spirit of a Sport.
“There have been reports abt me skipping the Asian air weapon competition in Iran due to their practice of making women wear hijab.” Heena finished 14th after getting eliminated in the qualification round of 10m women’s air pistol in Rio Olympics in August. She had earlier won a gold at the 2013 World Cup as well as the Asia Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers to claim her Rio Games berth.