New Delhi: India has presented its bid to host the last Olympic quota shooting tournament from the continent after the Asian Championships that begins in Kuwait on November 1 lost its status as Rio Games qualification event. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said it has presented a bid to the Asian Shooting Confederation to host the continental shooting event, likely to be held in January-February next year, after the IOC Executive Board scrapped the Olympic qualification status of the Kuwait City event.
The International Olympic Committee took the decision after it suspended Kuwait’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) owing to government interference. The IOC also took into account the case of denial of visa by the Kuwaiti Immigration Department of the designated Technical Delegate from the International Shooting Sport Federation, Yair Davidovich of Israel, who was due to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF.
Following the scrapping of the qualification status of the Kuwait event, the ISSF will have to allocate another event from which Asian shooters can qualify for the Rio Olympics, and India is one of the countries to have presented the bid to host this tournament.
NRAI sources said that ISSF will shortly notify the countries which have presented the bids. It is learnt that Kazakhstan and Qatar are also in the fray. India has so far won eight quotas – Jitu Rai, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Apurvi Chandela, Gurpreet Singh, Prakash Nanjappa, Chain Singh and Mairaj Khan.
Although more than 40 countries have confirmed participation in the Kuwait City Asian Championships, it is a big blow to the Indian shooters as they were banking on this chance to bag some more Olympic quota places for next year’s Rio Games. The shooters expressed their displeasure.
“Feel bad for the athletes competing at the Asian championships in Kuwait. No quotas on offer until another championship,” Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra wrote on his twitter handle. Joydeep Karmakar called it “Unfortunate! Shocking!”.