NEW DELHI: The IOC have withdrawn Olympic quota status of 25m rapid fire pistol event at the ISSF World Cup which kicks off here on Saturday. The world shooting body, had announced on Thursday that all the 16 quota places on offer might be scrapped, leaving many in the shooting fraternity scratching their heads. This latest development comes as a huge relief for the host nation and shooters from other countries.
“The IOC EB today (around 2.30 am on Friday IST) revoked the Olympic qualification status of the 25m rapid fire pistol event of the International Sports Shooting Federation World Cup Rifle/Pistol,” the release read. NRAI secretary general Rajiv Bhatia was a relieved man. “It’s a massive relief for the shooters. Now, we can focus on the events,” he said. Earlier on Thursday, ISSF president Vladimir Lisin had announced in a press conference that the event will be stripped off all quota events.
For India, three shooters including Commonwealth gold medallist Anish Bhanwala, will have to bear the brunt The trio will just be competing for the medals. Apart from Bhanwala, Arpit Goel, Bhavesh Shekhawat (MQS), Adarsh Singh and Gurpreet Singh (MQS) will also be looking to leave an impression in the event. All this began after two Pakistani shooters — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmad — and a support staff were denied visas by the Indian government late on Tuesday.
“The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition,” the IOC release explained. Later on Friday, IOC sent a formal letter to Lisin listing out in detail its concerns on the matter.