Shooting federation slashes bonus points as it makes major change to Paris Olympics selection policy

Shooting federation slashes bonus points as it makes major change to Paris Olympics selection policy

New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will award just two bonus points to Olympic quota winners in fire-arm category and one to air weapons shooters after making a major amendment to its selection policy for the 2024 Paris Games.

Earlier, an Olympic quota winner earned as many as 10 bonus points for clinching a World Championship gold, while a fourth-place finisher got five points. Similarly in World Cups, a gold medallist earned six bonus points, a silver medallist four and a bronze medallist two.

These bonus points gave shooters who earned quota places for the country in events such as the World Cups, World Championships and Asian events, a huge advantage over other Olympic aspirants, who could not cover that gap in trials to select the squad for the global showpiece.

The federation, its hands tied by its own policy, was also left with no choice but to send athletes with the most points even when it knew they were not in the best of form.

But with shooters going without a medal in the last two Olympics -- 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo -- the NRAI has amended the policy.

As per the amended policy, only one or two bonus points, depending on the event, will be added to the average of three scores for quota winners in Olympic trials, which the federation will conduct in May to select the squad for the showpiece event.

The NRAI governing body, in its meeting on Wednesday, decided that the final average score (FAS) will be the average of the three best Olympic selection trial scores out of four trials to which the bonus point will be added.

An Olympic quota in shooting is won by the country and not by an individual. However, not taking away from their effort of winning a quota for the country, the federation will still give a bonus point to quota winners, while also ensuring the gap between them and the next in line is within limits in a sport where scores in decimals can make a difference between victory and defeat.

The events that come under the category of air weapons are 10m air pistol and 10m air rifle, while events such as 50m rifle 3-positions, sports pistol and rapid-fire pistol come under the fire-arm category.

'The policy is based on each shooter getting Final Average Score (FAS). The FAS will be computed by taking the average of the top 3 Olympic selection trials scores plus the (Olympic) quota bonus point (QBP) to arrive at FAS,' read the amendment.

This means only 0.33 bonus points in air gun and 0.66 in fire-arm events per trial will be added to the Olympic quota winners' FAS.

'This (NRAI technical) committee does not wish to take away the individual achievement of the sportsperson from achieving this laudable milestone of winning an Olympic quota place.

'The winner of the quota place will be entitled to get Quota points while calculating FAS -- fire arm events (2 points), air fun events (1 point).

'Similar points will also be available to the shooter, who was eligible to win a quota but was not awarded as India had already earned maximum of two quotas, provided the rank of the shooter was within first three ranks (in wuota-winning tournaments).

'All such shooters will be 'deemed' to be Quota holders and will enjoy all the privileges and benefits of Quota holders.' In shooting sport, a country is eligible to win only two Olympic quotas per discipline.

In some disciplines, such as men's and women's 50m rifle 3-positions, Indian shooters have already earned those slots each for the country.

With several Olympic qualifying events still to go, those winning medals in them will be treated at par with the quota winners and be awarded bonus points as per the amended policy.

The federation also set the eligibility for the Olympic selection trials in May, which will be a competition between the top-five shooters in each category.

They will include, 'All Quota Holders/Deemed Quota holders of an event; an athlete whose domestic ranking is between 1 and 3 and has participated in two ISSF Championships...

' athlete whose ISSF Qualification Ranking for Olympics points are amongst the top 3 shooters (Indian) after the conclusion of ISSF Final Qualification Championship (Rifle & Pistol) in April 2024; an athlete whose domestic ranking is 4 or 5.' PTI AM AM BS BS AM

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