The International Olympic Committee on Thursday canceled places for the 2020 Tokyo Games shooting competition to be awarded at an event in India after the host country refused to give visas to Pakistani shooters, the head of the sport’s governing body said.
India has accused Pakistan of involvement in a suicide bombing in Kashmir last week that killed 40 paramilitary soldiers and has vowed to “isolate” its arch-rival neighbor over the attack.
Sixteen qualifying places for the Tokyo Games were to be decided at the opening shooting World Cup event in New Delhi. But Vladimir Lisin, president of the ISSF world body, said these would now go to other qualifying events.
“The International Olympic Committee informed us this World Cup will not be included in the competitions for Olympic quotas,” Lisin, himself an IOC executive member, told the tournament opening ceremony late Thursday.
“The quotas will be distributed at another World Cup. No one can be discriminated against and we have to follow the IOC decision as part of the IOC family,” he added.
The IOC said it was deliberating on the controversy and would soon announce a decision.
Over 500 shooters are taking part in the Indian event, for which competition starts Saturday.
Pakistan, which has denied any role in the Kashmir attack, says two shooters and a coach were denied visas to attend the contest.
Lisin said the International Shooting Sport Federation and the Indian organizing committee had done everything possible to get the shooters to the contest.
But National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh said he could not go against the Indian government’s decision.
Singh also insisted no final decision on the Olympic places had been taken.
“Nothing is canceled as of now. The status as of now is we don’t know,” Singh told reporters. “There are meetings that are going on where the position is being assessed by the IOC and the government.”
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo became the top brand in the Indian offline market in the month of November, garnering 24.7 per cent share and beating Xiaomi and Samsung, the company’s top India executive said on Friday.
“Vivo’s offline market share went from 23 per cent in October to 24.7 per cent in November as per the German research firm GfK, making us again the top brand in the Indian smartphone market. I thank the Indian consumers who have maintained their trust in the brand,” Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India, told IANS.
The brand took a big leap with capturing 17 per cent market share – its highest-ever — in the third quarter (July-September period), according to Counterpoint Research. In September, the Chinese handset maker recorded 22.5 per cent in terms of value, and 21.4 per cent in terms of volume.
“The growth has only made us humble as we enter 2020 with new energies. We will launch our next flagship in the popular ‘V’ Series during the Indian Premier League (IPL) that will come with unmatched specifications,” Marya added.
Vivo has presence in over 70,000 retail outlets in the country and has been a hit among the users in the small-town India. Currently the third largest smartphone player in India, Vivo is also committed to invest heavily in the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
“We are investing Rs 7,500 crore in the country in multiple phases as promised. We have the maximum capacity of producing 33.5 million handsets in a year and over 10,000 people, including women, are working at our Greater Noida factory,” said Marya.
He said that the goal of the company is to not only to launch new devices but also provide customers better after-sales service experience, which is the key motto of the company. “We are deeply focused on bringing new innovations to stay ahead in the smartphone segment,” he added.
On Thursday, iQOO, a brand from Vivo, announced its entry into the Indian market that will be the first, 5G-ready premium device and would take on Xiaomi’s new sub-brand POCO.