CHENNAI: Though pruned, shooting will feature in the South Asian Games (SAG) next year. Shrugging of the National Rifle Association of India’s apprehensions, it was decided on Tuesday — after a meeting between the Sports Authority of India director general, Games Technical Conduct Committee, NRAI and equipment vendors — that shooting will feature in the event.
There was uncertainty over the competition after an inspection committee felt there were no adequate equipment to host an international event, which is scheduled to be held from February 6 to 16. Though the SAG organising committee was eager, the NRAI felt unless the equipment was in place it was impossible to conduct the event.
The NRAI even suggested the competition be moved to Delhi if Guwahati did not finish venue-renovation in time. Another issue was the Asian Olympic Qualifying event, to be held between January 23 and February 4. It was too close to February 6, the inaugural day of the SAG. “The SAI will take the responsibility for doing the repair work in time. The equipment that is irreparable will be acquired from Kerala or Jharkhand,” Rakesh Gupta, GTCC chief, informed Express.
According to top-level sources in the Kerala National Games secretariat, the organisers have contacted the Kerala Sports Council and the state sports directorate, asking a report on the available equipment. “They have given tenders for some equipment but are afraid whether they can get those in time. So as plan B, they are looking to hire equipment from us. If the purchase gets delayed, then plan B can become plan A,” the source said.
However, several practical issues need to be sorted out. “We have to look at the usability of the equipment. Some of them would be still in the storeroom and there is no trouble in transporting them. But what about those which are being used by various institutions? We will have tough times ahead.”
All the same, only pistol/rifle shooters will get a chance to gun for glory. Confirming that the events are scheduled to be held from February 10 to 15, Rajeev Bhatia, NRAI secretary, said: “Everything is sorted out for now. The shooting events will be held in Guwahati but we will only have pistol/rifle events.”