The ISSF (International shooting body) has rung in some changes to international events that will rob a number of existing male shooters of their favoured competitions.The ISSF announced recently that the double trap event will be replaced by trap mixed gender team event, while 10m air rifle mixed gender team event will replace the 50m rifle prone event. The 50m pistol men event will be taken over by 10m air pistol mixed gender team event. All this is being done in an effort to correct the gender imbalance in medal events at the Olympics.Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was at the centre of it all in his capacity as Chairman of ISSF Athletes committee. He may be at the risk of losing some friends but is not backing down. “The idea of mixed events is driven from International Olympic committee’s 2020 agenda which calls for 50 per cent gender equality to start in Tokyo. Shooting is a sports where we had 9 men’s events and 6 women’s events and we had to find parity. Mixed events is something that can help find that balance,” he spoke in Mumbai.The changes are set to affect some seasoned Indian shooters too who could have been potential medal prospects for Tokyo. For the record, double trap is the event that gave India its first shooting medal through Rajyavardhan Rathore’s silver at Athens in 2004. The prone event has seen shooters like Gagan Narang and Joydeep Karmakar winning medals at international level, while the 50m pistol category has been Jitu Rai’s pet event.advertisementBindra was more forthright in acknowledging the resistence from fellow shooters in his write up on the ISSF website. “We can understand that many athletes would not be satisfied with this. In fact, none of us are and we realize that this is a very difficult scenario. The Athletes Committee requests that everybody should look at the bigger picture and consider the many factors that are important for us to ensure our strong presence within the Olympic movement,” he wrote.On the other side of the spectrum, a number of female shooters would fancy an opportunity to have more medal events. Besides mixed events may draw more crowds. Bindra thinks so. “I think it’s a great idea which will make for much more interesting viewing in future.”With the cycle of four years till the next Olympics just underway, it may be time now for many of the men shooters to dust off the disappointment and begin preparedness for the new order.