The combined rifle/pistol/shotgun ISSF World Cup, originally scheduled to be held from March 15-26 in New Delhi, has now been pushed to May and June, confirmed a statement released by Raninder Singh, the President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Friday.
“After deep reflection and debate, & despite it being fully cognizant of the fact that it shall as a consequence be saddled by substantial financial losses, the OC (Organising Committee) has today recommended to the ISSF & its President, Mr. Vladimir Lisin, that the New Delhi World Cup (Combined) that was to be conducted between the 15th and the 26th of March be postponed,” it said.
The event had courted headlines previously when the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) had decided to not grant ranking points to the shooters due to the Indian government’s travel advisory restricting athletes from Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea from participating due to the coronavirus.
“As a consequence of the accelerated spread of this malady, from the confirmed original participation at this event, 23 nations, consisting of 240 athletes and a 114 accompanying officials have been obliged to withdraw their participation from this event,” it said.
“The ISSF was obliged to withdraw ranking points to the Delhi World Cup (for finalists and medal winners only MQS was retained). This, in turn, has clearly also contributed to the withdrawal of some of the aforementioned nations.”
Subsequently, the World Cup itself has been postponed and will also be held in a new structure.
“The OC has further proposed to the President of the ISSF that this combined World Cup now be broken into two separate fully empowered World Cups, the first for Rifle & Pistol only to be conducted in the first week of May (5th -12th) & the second for shotgun events only to be conducted in the first week of June (2nd-9th) this year,” the statement added.
The postponed tournament will now have ranking points and shooters who are in with a chance will hope to gain them before the May 31 cut-off date for securing quota places at the 2020 Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Olympic Games Shooting Test events, which were scheduled for mid-April in Tokyo have also been rescheduled for the same reason.
Indians pull out of several events due to coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak has been a thorn in players’ schedules as several of them have been forced to withdraw their names from events around the globe.
Seven Indian badminton players announced that they would not travel for the All England Championships while the women’s Indian badminton squad had not travelled to Manila for the Badminton Asia Team Championships last month.
Indian shooters had earlier also refused to travel to Cyprus for the ongoing shotgun World Cup and multiple events have either been rescheduled or cancelled due to the unpredictable virus.