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India's Italian Skeet shooting coach to fly back to Rome in midst of travel ban

  • Indian Skeet shooters might not have the services of their Italian coach at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
Kartik Iyer
CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 04 Mar 2020, 19:34 IST

India
India's skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics

What's the story?

India’s Skeet shooting coach Ennio Falco, who hails from Italy, is travelling to Rome in the midst of the travel ban imposed due to the Coronvirus outbreak. This might make him unavailable for the ISSF World Cup which starts in New Delhi on 16th March.

In case you didn't know

Two of India's skeet shooters, Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan, have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. They bagged the Olympics quota place by winning a Gold and Silver medal respectively at the 2019 Asian Shooting Championships.

With the quota places already sealed, the skeet shooters would have been looking forward to the ISSF World Cup to be staged on their home range in New Delhi from 16th March. Their goal would have been to iron out any remaining chinks under the guidance of their Italian coach, Ennio Falco.

Heart of the matter

The Indian skeet shooters might end up missing the services of their coach Ennio Falco at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup to be held in New Delhi from 16th March. Falco, employed with the Italian Army, is set to travel to Rome, as he has been summoned to undergo Coronavirus checks.

As per Falco's travel plans, he intends to be back in India by 12th March to guide the Indian skeet team at the World Cup. However, a revised travel advisory by the Indian Government has put a question mark on his plans as he may be quarantined on his return from Italy.

“All regular (sticker) visas/e-visa (including VOA for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan issued on or before 03.03.2020 and who have not entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect"

The advisory added that nationals from four nations including Italy, who are required to travel to India, would have to undergo a fresh visa process. This implies that Falco will have to apply for a fresh visa if he intends to return to Delhi.

“Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visa from nearest Indian Embassy Consulate.”

Falco recently said that he will know about his test results in a week's time.

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“I am in the army so when I will land from India they will test me (for the virus). In seven days I will know if I am affected or not"

The Italian added that he is pretty sure that he is not infected and that his family was also fine.

“I am sure that I am not infected and I will be in India for the World Cup. I flew in on the 21st (February) to India. My family is OK, my daughter is well, and my wife is OK. So I am certain there will not be a problem (in returning).”

He further added that there won't be any requirement to quarantine him on his return as he is from the south of Italy, whereas all the virus-affected areas were in northern Italy. He was confident that the results of the medical examination would enable him to return back without any hiccups.

“I hope I can show them my (medical) examination that I will now take in Italy"
“It is important to note that I come from the south and the big issue is in the north... Milan (the most affected area) is there, all the villages there have been shut and there is army to control. I am a thousand kilometres away in south and till today not one case has been detected there.”

What's next?

This sudden departure of the skeet shooting coach must've have certainly impacted the training schedule of the Indian shooters.

The shooters would be hoping that he is able to return to India before the New Delhi World Cup and provide the required technical assistance to iron out any technical flaws in their game.

Published 04 Mar 2020, 19:34 IST
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