Last week, the International Olympic Committee made an announcement in regards to shooting sports. After considering recommendations from the International Shooting Sports Foundation (ISSF), the governing body for the Olympic shooting sports, they announced that a handful of events would be replaced.
“After an exhaustive two-year evaluation process, the ISSF Ad-Hoc Committee recommended replacing the Double Trap Men event with a Trap Mixed Gender Team event, the 50m Rifle Prone Men event with a 10m Air Rifle Mixed Gender Team event and the 50m Pistol Men event with a 10m Air Pistol Mixed Gender Team event,” the ISSF said in a statement. “This proposal was developed to preserve discipline parity and retain 15 Olympic shooting events – 5 Rifle, 5 Pistol, 5 Shotgun.”
Shooting sports will be one of the “gender balanced” events, meaning there are an equal number of men’s and women’s events.
In order to make the teams more equal, the Olympics are getting rid of the current Men’s Double Trap, Men’s 50m Rifle Prone, and Men’s 50m Pistol events. The number of shooting athletes will also shrink from 390, the number in Rio, to 360 for Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 will debut three new teams: the Trap Mixed Gender Team, 10m Air Rifle Mixed Gender Team, and 10m Air Pistol Mixed Gender Team events.
“We believe this is a fundamental step forward for our beloved sport,” ISSF President Olegario Vázquez Raña said. “We fully support gender equality, and our Committees have worked very hard to develop a Tokyo 2020 proposal that will support the future growth of our sport. We want to retain 15 Olympic events, preserve equality in our three disciplines – rifle, pistol, and shotgun – and offer all female and male athletes the same opportunities. Shooting is one of the oldest and most universal sports of the world; inclusion is part of our DNA.”
Not everyone agreed with the move.
USA Shooting, the national governing body for the sport of Olympic-style shooting in the U.S., made clear they opposed the move, noting Team USA’s historic success in these events.
“It is important to note that the U.S. Olympic Committee has in no way directed these Olympic shooting program changes,” said David Johnson, interim CEO of USA Shooting in a statement issued previously.
Shooting sports are one of the oldest Olympic sports to date. Some events, such as the 50m Pistol, commonly referred to as the Free Pistol, has been in the games since 1896