New Delhi ISSF World Cup ‘decisive’ for Tokyo Olympics qualification

The world shooting body added that shooters can also obtain the Minimum Qualification Standard at all ISSF events before the qualification period ends in June.

By Ubaid Parker

Next year’s World Cup in New Delhi will determine the shooters who can qualify for the Tokyo Olympics based on their world rankings, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) declared on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, New Delhi was announced as one of the five venues to host a shooting World Cup with the competition to be held from March 19 to 28.

The World Cup in the Indian capital, according to the ISSF,  will be “decisive” for rifle, pistol and shotgun events. Shooters who are yet to qualify for the Games can do so through the world ranking at the tournament.

Competitors, however, can also obtain the Minimum Qualification Standard (MQS) at all ISSF Championships scheduled before the qualification period ends on June 6, the world shooting body added in the statement.

The MQS is a minimum score, designated by the ISSF at each event, that a shooter must attain at least once in a defined period to be eligible to participate in the Olympics.

New Delhi will host one of the five ISSF World Cups next year.

The remaining four World Cups next year will be held in South Korea (Changwon), Azerbaijan (Baku), Egypt (Cairo) and Italy (Lonato).

India has sealed 15 quota places for Tokyo 2020 next year - a record for the country - three more than their representation at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Pistol shooter Anish Bhanwala, world No. 12, could extend the list on the basis of his rankings should he perform well in New Delhi.

Seven women and eight men comprise the India shooting contingent so far, seven of which are in the rifle category, six in pistol and two in skeet.

Coaches call for shooting camp

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has been urged by rifle, pistol and shotgun coaches to conduct a shooting camp for the Olympic probables soon.

A camp was scheduled early last month for the core group but had to be called off due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. It was to be held at the Dr Karni Shooting Range in Delhi. 

Only a handful of shooters have been at the range since it opened in July, with strict safety protocols in place.

The NRAI had announced a core group of 32 shooters to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics across nine events late in June.