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Coronavirus Continues To Wreck Havoc In Sports With Shooting And Wrestling Events Affected

India Pulled Out Of Next Month's Shooting World Cup In Cyprus, Citing The Novel Coronavirus Threat While The Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers, Scheduled To Be Held Next Month In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Have Been Postponed Indefinitely.

PTI | Updated on: 29 Feb 2020, 10:19:39 AM
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The NRAI also pointed out that the tournament in Cyprus and the next ISSF World Cup, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from March 16, are too close to each other (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

New Delhi:

India pulled out of next month's shooting World Cup in Cyprus, citing the novel coronavirus threat in Nicosia as the epidemic continued to wreak havoc on sporting calendars across the world. The shotgun world cup, recognised by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), is scheduled to be held in Nicosia from March 4 to 13. "Acting upon the travel advisory by the Ministry of Health dated the 26th of this month, wherein certain nations have been listed for a complete travel ban, the Indian team has been withdrawn from the Cyprus World Cup beginning Mar 4, because we have found that at least one of those nations will be represented there," the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh said in a statement.

According to the federation, participating in the tournament "would have meant that our team would have come in contact with that team and bearing in mind the advisory and its content, it would further mean that there would be a very high likelihood of our athletes being quarantined upon return to India".

The NRAI also pointed out that the tournament in Cyprus and the next ISSF World Cup, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from March 16, are too close to each other. "...Given the next World Cup commences on the 16th and our team was scheduled to travel back to Delhi on 12th, should any of them had been quarantined, they would not have been able to represent the country in New Delhi. "Keeping the health and welfare of our athletes as a primary concern and in compliance with the ministry of Health travel advisory and finally given the facts as stated above, the NRAI decided to regrettably withdraw its team."

The Chinese city of Xian was slated to play host to the tournament earlier but it was moved to Bishkek due to the coronavirus. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The deadly virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed close to 3000 people and infected nearly 80,000 globally. Earlier in the day, a federation source had said the team withdrew from the tournament on the advice of the government.

Asian Wrestling Tournament Postponed

The Asian Olympic wrestling qualifiers, scheduled to be held next month in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, have been postponed indefinitely due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. The event was deferred after the Kyrgyzstan government came out with a directive to postpone all sporting events in the country till further notice in the wake of the epidemic, which has killed close to 3000 people and infected nearly 80,000 globally. There is no update on the rescheduled time and venue for the event which was slated from March 27 to 29. The Kyrgyzstan government took the decision during an operational meeting.

"At an operational meeting led by director of the State Agency Kanat Amankulov, it was decided to postpone a number of major international sports events planned in Kyrgyzstan to later dates," the State Agency for Youth, Physical Culture and Sports of the Kyrgyz Republic said.

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The Chinese city of Xi'an was slated to play host to the tournament earlier but it was moved to Bishkek due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. A 14-member squad, including youngsters Jitender Kumar and Sonam Malik, was announced for the Asian qualifiers. India have already booked a berth in four of the eight Olympic wrestling categories with Ravi Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53kg) making it to the top sporting event.

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First Published : 29 Feb 2020, 10:19:39 AM