Shooter Heena Sidhu quits 9th Asian Airgun Shooting in Iran over hijab rule

Speed News Desk | First published: 29 October 2016, 16:25 IST
Heena Sidhu

Olympian Heena Sidhu pulled out of the 9th Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran on 29 October, as a mark of protest against the prescribed dress code for sportswomen at the competition.

Like the other women participating in the meet, Sidhu was asked to wear a hijab. However, she refused to do so, saying that she believed a dress code went against the spirit of sport.

Sidhu wrote to the National Rifle Association of India three weeks ago, informing her decision to quit the competition - scheduled to be held in Tehran in December.

In a series of tweets on 29 October, Sidhu said that she was proud to be a sportsperson because people "from different cultures, backgrounds, sexes, ideologies and religion can come together and compete without biases".

"Sport is an exhibition of sheer human effort and performance. Our ability to dig deep for strength, will power and determination," she tweeted.

According to reports, Sidhu withdrew her name from a championship in Iran for the same reason in 2014. At the Rio Olympics 2016, Sidhu finished 14th after getting eliminated in the qualification round of the 10m women's air pistol category.

First published: 29 October 2016, 16:25 IST