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Pulwama fallout: Olympic quotas withdrawn from Delhi shooting WC

All the 16 Olympic quotas allotted to New Delhi World Cup were, on Thursday, withdrawn owing to denial of visas to Pakistani shooters in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

This was announced by the ISSF president Vladimir Lisin during his address to the season-opening World Cup at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Pakistan shooters’ participation in the tournament became the bone of contention since the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama killed more than 40 CRPF personnel last Thursday.

It was learnt that the International Olympic Committee is deliberating on the matter and a decision of its Executive Board is likely to be issued at 10 pm local time of Switzerland (02:30 IST Friday), officials said.

“The International Olympic Committee informed us this World Cup will not be included in the competitions for Olympic quotas. In this case, the quotas will be distributed in another World Cup. No one can be discriminated and we have to follow the IOC decision as part of the IOC family,” Lisin said during his address. 

National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, though, said that they are still looking for a resolution so that the quotas for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are not withheld.

“Nothing is cancelled as of now. The status as of now is we don’t know. We are waiting. There are meetings that are going on where the position is being assessed by the IOC and the government. Everyone is working very hard but it is a very peculiar position. It is very unprecedented scenario and it is unfortunate,” Raninder said.

When asked about Lisin’s address, during which he clearly stated that the quotas have been dropped, Raninder said a clarification would be issued.

“He didn’t say that (all 16 quotas have been scrapped). He said may not be able to give quotas. He didn’t say it’s been withdrawn. You can take the clarification,” Raninder, who is also the chairman of the organising committee, added. 

The shooters spoke to moments after Lisin’s address said that the quotas were dropped from their home World Cup.

Denied visas in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the Pakistan’s shooting federation Wednesday wrote to the international body, asking it to drop the two 25m rapid fire pistol quotas for 2020 Olympics.

Pakistan had applied for visas for two shooters — G M Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — in the rapid fire category as the event in New Delhi also serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic games.

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