Indian shooters fume at changes in Tokyo 2020 events

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Indian shooters fume at changes in Tokyo 2020 events

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SportsCafe Desk


Indian shooters have voiced their discontent about International Shooting Sport Federation's (ISSF) decision to do away with a few competitions for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. Former world No. 1 double trap shooter Ronjan Singh Sodhi questioned why the decision was made for 2020 and not 2024.

The ISSF, on Wednesday, came to a decision of scrapping three shooting events namely the men's 50m pistol, 50m rifle prone and double trap. from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The decision, unanimously agreed upon by the ISSF executive committee and administrative council meetings, on Wednesday, was essentially a ratification of the recommendations made by the body's ad-hoc committee earlier.

Jitu Rai, who excels in the 50m free pistol event, has expressed his unhappiness at the decision. The Indian ace will, however, be a part of the event at the World Cups later this year. 

"It's very disappointing. I will continue to participate in the free pistol event at World Cups this year but will focus only on air pistol for the Tokyo Olympics," Rai was quoted saying by ESPN.

The ISSF had recently confirmed that even though they received a massive number of appeals from players, there was very little that they could do about it.

Prakash Nanjappa, who was a part of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games, has said that he would now have to switch to rapid fire in order to compete in Tokyo.

"I will start shooting rapid fire apart from air pistol. Training for both will be tough because they're of contrasting styles but that's the best way out," he said.

The decision was made to keep up with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) plan of gender equality for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The total number of shooting events (15) will remain the same in Tokyo as well. However, while the events were earlier numerically favourable towards the men's events, the ISSF has ensured that the number of events for men and women is now equal.

Ronjan Singh Sodhi was critical at the execution of the "avoidable" decision stating that it could have been rolled out in 2024.

"Shooting is an expensive sport and if you have to do away with events why not do so for the 2024 Olympics instead of one that's just three years away?" Sodhi said.

"Lots of resources have been invested and it's unfair to rob so many talented young shooters of their hopes. My career is over but theirs has been snuffed out even before it could take off."

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