IOC action on Kuwait delays Ser's quest for Rio

Singapore national shooter Jasmine Ser faces a longer-than-expected wait to qualify for next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

This comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked the Olympic qualifying status of the Nov 1-12 Asian Championships in Kuwait on Thursday.

The tournament, held once every four years, was supposed to be the 25-year-old's final shot at making it to next year's Olympic Games. Ser competed at the women's 10m air rifle competition in the 2012 London Olympics.

But the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has quickly assured the participating shooters that they will be arranging for another Olympic qualification event.

Details of the next qualifiers will be released at a later date.

The news was nevertheless a dampener for the Singapore shooters who travelled to the Gulf nation aiming for an Olympic spot. Singapore is represented by a 28-strong contingent at the meet.

Said Jeanine Heng, Singapore Shooting Association's high performance manager: "The news is disappointing, especially for the athletes, but we have told them to compete at their best as, after all, it's a good competition to gauge where we stand."

Ser's target remains unchanged - to book her ticket to the Olympic Games.

Heng said: "We are confident that she will be able to regroup and refocus for the next qualification (event).

"On a more positive note, this has given her more time to train for the (next) qualifier."

The IOC decided on Thursday to strip the Asian Shooting Championships of its Olympic qualifier status after an Israeli ISSF technical official was denied a visa by the host country.

"The denial of a visa is against the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter," said an IOC statement.

Another reason for the ruling was that the Kuwait Olympic Committee was suspended by the IOC from all Games-related activities due to government interference.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'IOC action on Kuwait delays Ser's quest for Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe