New Delhi, Feb 26, 2020-
Six countries have pulled out of the upcoming shooting World Cup in New Delhi due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh told reporters on Wednesday.
“There were some countries which were coming but because of the coronavirus outbreak, their national policies dictate that they can’t come,” said Singh.
“China have taken a wise decision on their own as a nation. They don’t want to infect others and hence won’t travel. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan have also backed out because of national policies.”
Apart from these, Pakistan had also pulled out of the World Cup, albeit for a different reason. The denial of visas to Pakistani shooters for last year’s tournament had led to the International Olympic Council (IOC) taking away two Olympic quotas from the tournament and demanding a “written guarantees” from the Indian government that it would ensure the entry of all participants into the country or risk losing any chance to host future international events.
Singh however said that Pakistan had pulled out of the tournament on their own accord this time as the shooters are adjusting to a new foreign coach. “Don’t connect last time to this time. Pakistan were never coming. They have two athletes who have qualified for pistol events for Olympics. My colleague Mr Javed Lodhi (Pakistan shooting federation’s executive vice president) has informed me that ‘our coach in Germany is only available during that time and our shooters would much rather train with him for the Olympic events than participate in the World Cup’,” he said.
The outbreak of coronoavirus has led to a disruption of sorts in the sporting calendar leading up to the Tokyo Olympics later in the year. Asian Olympic qualifiers for boxing and wrestling that were to be held in China — the former in Wuhan which is the epicentre of the virus outbreak — had to be shifted out of the country. Chinese and North Korean wrestlers were unable to participate in the Asian Wrestling Championships earlier this month as well. (Agency)