Shooting competitions and trade events are being cancelled and postponed as part of measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.
Several international championships as well as smaller events have been postponed or cancelled thus far – including the Tokyo 2020 Shooting Test Event which had been scheduled to take place from 18 to 25 April at the Olympic shooting venue, the Asaka Shooting Range.
Meanwhile the International Olympic Committee declared its “full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 taking place from 24 July to 9 August,” while appearing to hedge its bets in a statement that said “The IOC EB encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The IOC will keep supporting the athletes by providing the latest information and developments, which are accessible for athletes worldwide on the Athlete365 website.”
However, as this crisis worsens, it’s looking like the Olympics will be postponed until next year – although no official word has been given yet.
Coronavirus: How it’s affected shooting
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- The gun trade in Italy – how have things been affected by the lockdown?
- Northern Shooting Show is postponed until August
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The IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Nuremberg, planned for 9-12 March, was postponed at short notice, and rescheduled for 3-6 September. The event is the largest outdoors, shooting and hunting trade show in Europe and was expected to attract nearly 50,000 visitors from around the world, with 1,600 companies exhibiting from more than 130 countries.
The organisers said the decision to postpone was taken “in view of the coronavirus spread in Europe, the related health concerns and travelling complications.”
“Other events affected included the WSPS World Cup in New Delhi, which was postponed until May/June, and the WSPS World Cup in Al Ain, postponed until 2021 at a date still to be decided.
“British Shooting promised to provide information and updates for athletes, stating: “The situation is moving and evolving quickly, and ensuring the health and well-being of athletes, coaches, staff and supporters is paramount to us.”
The organisation added it was working on “contingency plans based on the cancellation/postponement of international events and any subsequent effects to Olympic and Paralympic selection processes.”
By the second week in March, the whole of Italy was in “lockdown,” potentially affecting the manufacture and distribution of products from the thriving gunmaking trade, which includes brands such as Beretta, Caesar Guerini, Fabarm, Fausti, Fiocchi, Perazzi and Rizzini.
At that time, however, there were no restrictions on goods being imported from Italy to the UK, and the best advice was that trade should continue largely uninterrupted.
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The European Fitasc Sporting Championship, scheduled for 7-10 May at Botto in Orvieto, Italy, was rearranged for 24-27 September. A statement by Fitasc explained that any registrations would be automatically transferred to the new dates.
“The Botto shooting range has already invested much means to make this Championship an exceptional event, thus we strongly advise you to maintain your participation in September,” it said.
UK authorities held back from restricting outdoor gatherings and sports events, advising that the risk of disease transmission was low outdoors. Some shoots were cancelled or postponed, however, including the first event in the Oxford Gun Company’s 2020 TSC Series, planned for 11 March.
They explained that “a number of school teams have felt they would have to withdraw due to precautionary school travel policies and restrictions.” The event was provisionally rescheduled for 22 April.
With events developing rapidly, shooters are advised to check the websites of grounds and governing bodies, as well as official government websites, for the latest information and advice before booking or travelling to events.