The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has made several innovations to make the target shooting Olympic discipline viewer-friendly and more popular. One of them is to have a good number of spectators during the qualification and final matches.
What is more interesting is that spectators are allowed to make noise. Booing is allowed to show disappointment. People can now applaud for a good performance too.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing, the world governing body in shooting discipline is not allowing spectators for the World Cup starting March 18 in New Delhi at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. More than 300 shooters from as many as 43 countries are expected to participate in the season’s first World Cup being held in all the three disciplines – shotgun, rifle, and pistol.
“There will be no spectators. Even the mediapersons covering the World Cup will have witnessed the competition from a particular area,” an official familiar with the protocol revealed.
The new normal for shooters competing in the event will have to maintain social distance even at the firing points. As per standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the conduct of the World Cup at each firing point, a screen will be put up on both sides of the shooter. The organiser of the event, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), has also put up thermal screening at each of the ranges to check the temperature of the competitors.
The competing teams are coming in batches. Shooters from countries like Qatar, Argentina, England, Brazil, and Hungary have already arrived at the official team hotel, situated close to the shooting ranges.