India’s Apurvi Chandela shattered the world record on her way to the gold medal in women’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup here Saturday. The Indian shot an astonishing 252.9 to win the top prize on day one of the competitions at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. China’s Ruozhu Zhao bagged silver with 251.8, while another Chinese Xu Hong (230.4) finished the tournament’s first final with a bronze. Such was Chandela’s dominance in the eight-women final that she finished the event a staggering 1.1 points ahead of the silver medallist. Chandela, who had secured a Tokyo Olympic quota in the last World Championships, was fourth in the qualifications with 629.3.
The build-up to the tournament has been marred due to the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans which heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. The Olympic committee also revoked the Olympic qualification status for the men's 25m rapid fire event from the New Delhi World Cup due to denial of visas to the Pakistani shooters in the wake of last week's Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
The IOC said it will not allow India to organise Olympic-related events in the future, unless written assurances are obtained from the government. The two Pakistani shooters' participation in the tournament had become doubtful after the terrorist attack. The International Olympic Committee has decided to "suspend all discussions" with India regarding hosting of global sporting events after Pakistani shooters were not issued visas for the World Cup in New Delhi.
The IOC's decision comes hours after International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President Vladimir Lisin announced that all the allotted 16 Olympic quotas for the 2020 Games would be scrapped. However, the apex body limited the withholding of quotas to only two while retaining 14.
"The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition," the IOC said in a statement after its executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland Thursday.
-With PTI inputs-