'Mixed events will give us advantage'

'Mixed events will give us advantage'

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh believes India stand to gain from ISSF’s proposal of mixed gender events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The proposal still awaits the ratification of the International Olympic Committee.

The introduction of the mixed team events, if given a go ahead, would see men’s double trap event being replaced by trap mixed team event, 50M rifle prone with 10M air rifle mixed event and 50M pistol with 10M air pistol mixed team event in the Olympic Games. However, these changes are only restricted to the Olympics.

“If I look at it dispassionately, my deepest bench strength is in air rifle and air pistol,” Raninder told reporters on Thursday.

“An example is mixed pair test event here in air pistol where Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won gold. So we have the best chance of picking up an extra medal in the two pair events. That’s why I believe it is in our interest. You get extra chances for quota, you get extra chances for medal in our strength areas.”

Raninder also backed chairman of ISSF’s athletes’ commission Abhinav Bindra, who faced criticism from a few fellow shooters. “The athletes’ commission has one vote out of 13. He is not the only one making decisions. Nothing the athletes commission says is mandatory for the ISSF executive to follow. Why blame Abhinav Bindra for it? In case of gender equality in 2020, they had their own internal vote on the subject.”

“The IOC has given us a very detailed study of which one of our 15 sports were behind in ranking, growth, television viewership, and the worst performer has been double trap followed by 50M and prone. So they have replaced the bottom three. There is logic to it.”

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