Shooting aims for mixed events to spur parity

MUNICH • The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) plans to introduce mixed events in air pistol, air rifle and trap for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to help the International Olympic Committee (IOC) achieve its goal of 50 per cent female participation in the Olympics Games.

Following a two-year evaluation process, the ISSF said it would recommend scrapping the men's 50m free pistol, 50m rifle prone and the double trap events in favour of introducing three mixed events, one in each discipline.

"The ISSF executive committee and administrative council unanimously approved the recommendation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme that aims to achieve gender equality and retain 15 Olympic events," the ISSF said.

The ISSF also stressed its desire to stick with five rifle, five pistol and five shotgun events as it hopes to "preserve discipline parity" among the Olympic shooting events.

"We fully support gender equality, and our committees have worked very hard to develop a Tokyo 2020 proposal that will support the future growth of our sport," ISSF president Olegario Vazquez Rana said in a statement.

"We want to offer all female and male athletes the same opportunities.

"Shooting is one of the oldest and most universal sports of the world; inclusion is part of our DNA."

The IOC will evaluate the ISSF proposal before deciding on the final 2020 Olympic shooting events programme later this year.

In response to the news, the Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) is adopting a wait-and-see approach to see how the changes will be implemented.

The focus for now remains on this August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Said Jeanine Heng, SSA's high performance manager: "For now, we are keeping the 50m rifle prone and 50m free pistol as they feature at the SEA Games.

"We don't have a double trap team so that doesn't affect us."

She also noted that Singapore needs to earmark shooters of each gender in the same event in order to target qualifying in any mixed event.

REUTERS

•Additional reporting by May Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2017, with the headline 'Shooting aims for mixed events to spur parity'. Print Edition | Subscribe