New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The upcoming shooting World Cup in Delhi, the first international event for an Olympic sport in India amid the COVID-19 pandemic, can be a benchmark for other countries, NRAI President Raninder Singh said on Wednesday.
The tournament begins at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range on Saturday.
'This is the first international sporting event in India after COVID and we can set an example for other nations whereby they can learn from here,' Singh, who is also the head of the local organising committee, said during a pre-tournament press conference.
Last month, the NRAI had announced a 57-member Indian team for the year's first combined ISSF World Cup for rifle, pistol and shotgun shooters, including the 15 quota holders for the Tokyo Olympics.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) chief also hoped that country can add to the number of the quota holders in the upcoming tournament.
Though not a quota holder, Anish Bhanwal, who competes in men's 25m rapid fire pistol, has a bright chance of making the cut thanks to his high ranking. A gold medal in the tournament will surely seal him a Tokyo berth.
'There is a possibility of us getting 16 quota,' the NRAI chief told reporters.
The Delhi World Cup will see as many as 30 finals being held at an ISSF World Cup stage for the first time with the new team formats approved by the global body last year coming into play.
Each section will have three shooters and two more in the MQS (Minimum Qualification Score) category.
As many as 53 countries have confirmed their entries, including Korea, Singapore, USA, United Kingdom, Iran, Ukraine, France, Hungary, Italy, Thailand and Turkey.
As per the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) guidelines, no spectator will be allowed inside the range for the tournament that carries ranking points, which could help shooters such as Bhanwala to secure an Olympic quota.
'It is not allowed to have spectators because of social distancing norms and keeping in mind the interest of the athletes' health.' Shooters participating in the tournament will be undergoing three COVID-19 tests -- on arrival at the airport, 24 hours before their first competition and finally before leaving for their respective destinations.
As part of the SOP, all officials/media will be tested, wearing of masks is mandatory and there will be temperature checks at entry points. There will be isolation rooms and regular sanitisation will be done. PTI AH AH AT AT