Munich (GER), June 24, 2017: Ahead of tomorrow’s Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA), International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President Olegario Vázquez Raña today expressed his firm belief that changes to shooting’s events on the Olympic programme are not just necessary, but essential for the long-term future of the sport (ISSF Olympic Programme reforms).
The EGA will take place on Sunday 25 June and was called specifically to explain and discuss the ISSF’s innovative amendments proposed for the Olympic Programme. Since the EGA was called, the IOC, sooner than anticipated, approved the ISSF’s proposals on 9 June 2017.
The amendments will see three male-only events (50m Rifle Prone, 50m Pistol and Double Trap) replaced by three mixed-gender team events (10m Air Rifle, 10m Air Pistol and Trap) and were proposed by the ISSF following the IOC’s encouragement for International Federations to implement gender equality.
A specially commissioned Ad Hoc Committee carried out a collaborative two-year study, drawing on the views and expertise of all ISSF Section Committees and wider stakeholders, together with data from Rio 2016, to produce the recommendations.
The recommendations were published to the shooting family for further input before the final recommendations were unanimously approved by the ISSF’s Executive Committee and Administrative Council and sent to the IOC.
Speaking in Munich as Member Federations began to arrive ahead of the EGA, President Vázquez Raña said:
“We are looking forward to tomorrow’s Extraordinary General Assembly and having the opportunity to discuss, and further explain, the changes to the Olympic shooting sports Programme.
The innovative amendments the ISSF proposed were the outcome of an extensive and collaborative consultation process, and the IOC’s decision to approve provides further validation.
“We have always said that change is not easy; but not to change was not an option. We had to take control of our future and ensure that shooting remains relevant and attractive to modern audiences.
It is difficult to take a decision which means some athletes will not be able to compete at Tokyo 2020; but, it is our job to make these kinds of decisions when they represent what is best for the sport’s long-term future.
A lot of athletes and national federations have already expressed their support for the changes and we are sure that after the EGA we will have even more support.”
The amendments approved by the IOC have been met by approval from many athletes and national federations, who praised the changes for enhancing the sport’s gender equality and bringing new excitement to the Programme.
Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016 in the women’s 25m pistol event Monika Karsch(Germany) said:
“First of all, I feel sad for the colleagues and the teammates that saw their main event taken out of the Olympic program. They were part of the history of our sport and they will always be. At the same time, however, the sports world is evolving and we have to evolve with it.
We have to keep it appealing for the audience and for the sponsors. If we don’t, there will be no future for us. The complying of gender equality is the right thing to do, it’s good for our sport and it will attract more people to come and watch competitions, or to follow them on the TV or even to try it! Many young girls will find an interest in shooting sport thanks to this positive changes.”
Two-time Olympian and 2013 ISSF World Cup Final champion in 10m Air Pistol Heena Sidhu (India) said:
“I welcome the new shooting sport Programme for Tokyo 2020 as very positive news. First of all, it addresses gender equality, which is an important principle not only in sport but in general in our society, and I think that sport should be driving positive change.
Then, I really like the new 10m Air Pistol Mixed Gender Team event, which I had a chance to test at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi last February. I think that’s appealing both for the audience and the athletes. I can’t wait to compete in this event.”
Egbert IJzerman, President of the Royal Netherlands Shooting Sport Association(KNSA) said:
“Gender equality is a universal principle we should embrace at all levels, and sport should be leading the way. We are happy to learn that shooting sport will see 50% men and 50% female athletes competing on the lines of Tokyo 2020. That reflects a change that has been unfolding through the years in our sport.
The new Programme will also help us to continue developing our grassroots, and to be more relevant to modern audiences”. —- ISSF