The ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, to be held from March 15-26 will not hand out any global ranking points to the participants after the Indian government did not allow shooters from certain countries to participate due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) released a statement on Wednesday to share the news.
“Due to local restrictions relating to the COVID-19 virus introduced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, the organisers of the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi cannot guarantee the participation of all the athletes who would like to enter those competitions,” read the statement on the ISSF website.
“Therefore, no ranking points can be earned at this World Cup. Still, it will be possible to achieve the MQS (minimum qualifying score) that can influence on athletes’ chances to get the desired Olympic Quota Places.”
The deadly COVID-19 version of the coronavirus, which has claimed over 3,000 lives in China alone, has severely affected countries like Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan leading the Indian health ministry to impose travel restrictions on visitors from those nations.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is taking all the necessary precautions against coronavirus to ensure the safety of the shooters. “The federation is following the government advisory on visa restrictions to certain nations due to growing concern of virus threat,” NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia told Hindustan Times.
“As per the advisory, preventive measures will be taken during the competition and at the team hotel,” he added.
Indian shooters largely unaffected for 2020 Olympics
Shooting represents the largest contingent for India at Olympics 2020, with as many as 15 quota places already secured as the Indian shooters also decided to give the shotgun World Cup at Cyprus a miss.
However, the ranking points would have been of great importance to the Indian trap shooting team, who could not secure their 2020 Olympics spot by the end of the qualifying period in November.
“It will be a challenging task to improve ranking and stay in the race for a 2020 Olympics quota,” the Hindustan Times quoted trap shooter Prithviraj Tondaiman.