Pakistani shooters Bashir, Akhtar participate in ISSF world cup with eyes on Olympics

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Olympian Ghulam Mustafa Bashir has set his eyes on the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol event that kicked off in Munich on Friday, chasing his dream of 2020 Tokyo Olympics place.

Bashir is competing in the event along with Khalil Akhtar in their 25m rapid fire pistol events. Their competitions will begin on May 28.

Bashir is ranked 14th in the world while Akhtar is on the 28th place, as both athletes will be looking to gather their points for the quota place in Olympics.

Bashir, who also represented Pakistan in the 2016 Olympics believes that his campaign for the Olympics place is going smoothly as he is learning along the way.

He also competed at the ISSF World Cup in China in April, however, his weapon troubled him and the results were less than desired. However, he is optimistic about Munich, where he will also be competing for the first time.

“I’ve been training hard for Germany,” Khalil told The Express Tribune, as he would be leaving for the event on May 25. “We also had our national championship and it all went well.”

Bashir added that his target in Munich is to make it among top 6, unlike China.

“I had a good beginning in China, but my weapon was not working as I wanted it to. But now I’ve got a new one and I’m ready to finish among the top six. I need my score to be at 585 out of 600, and this is the target for me,” explained Bashir.

The 31-year-old is dedicated to make his way to the Olympics again, as he had to give up his job in Qatar before moving to Pakistan for his shooting career.

“I had a job abroad, but I decided to come back because we have these events to gather our qualification score and I wanted to concentrate on this,” said Bashir.

He started shooting in 2010 then went on to represent the country at the 2014 Asian Games.

“I’m learning and with experience I’ll improve, now I’m competing in more events so I’m progressing,” said Bashir.

The ISSF Olympic quota places are described as, “Given the limited number of qualification slots available for shooting sport at Olympic Games and at the Youth Olympic Games, the qualification system for our sport is based on Quota Places. A Quota Place is a qualification ticket to enter the Games, awarded by the ISSF to those athletes who reach the best results during designated ISSF Olympic Qualification competitions such as ISSF World Championships, ISSF World Cups, Continental Championships or Continental Games.”

Currently Bashir’s Individual qualification score is 583 while Akhtar’s is 579/600 to be 28th in the world from the 2018 World Championship, that kicked off the Olympic qualification cycle.

Both Bashir and Akhtar are Pakistan’s hope for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics place in shooting event.