Indian shooter Heena Sidhu has pulled out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to their compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes.
The Olympian had informed the National Rifle Association of India three weeks in advance about her decision of withdrawing from the competition as the tournament is scheduled for December.
Her confirmation came through her tweets on Saturday, where she said that “I am no revolutionary, but I personally feel that making it mandatory for a sportsperson to wear a hijab is not in the spirit of a sport. “
This is not the first time she has withdrawn from a tournament on such grounds as two years earlier too, she had refused to comply with the “forced hijab” rule in a country known for forcing their culture on others in the competitions tat Iran hosts.
She further instated that she is proud to be a sportsperson and “Sport is an exhibition of sheer human effort and performance. “
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 gold at the 2013 World Cup as well as the Asia Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers to claim her Rio berth.