Commonwealth Shooting starts Thursday amid tight securityFebruary 17th, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Gun-totting sharpshooters, 200 CCTV cameras and more than 1,000 security personnel on the prowl. Welcome to Karni Shooting Range, the venue of the Commonwealth Shooting Championships that start here Thursday.
With 186 (146 from overseas) shooters taking part in this competition from different Commonwealth countries, the government has provided top security cover for the event to prevent any untoward incident, after Saturday’s Pune bomb blast.
The road leading to the shooting range has been completely sanitised and cars are stopped nearly five kilometres before the venue. But still the mood is upbeat and all eyes are on Indian shooters sans Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra.
National coach Sunny Thomas feels that Indian shooters should have easy outing.
“I expect our shooters to do well in the championships. It will help them to prepare well for the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games here in October. There is tough competition among our shooters and it is helping the sport to grow,” he said.
Thomas was all praise for the new swanky shooting range, which will be hosting the country’s first major international event after a long time. The shooting range is controlled by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
Graeme Hudson, the president of the Commonwealth Shooting Federation, said that the range is among the top three in the world.
“In the last eight years, India has emerged as a major power in shooting. This state-of-the-art stadium is perhaps the best thing Indian shooters could have got ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” the New Zealander said.
Indian army’s foreign pistol coach Smirnov Pavel, a Russian, feels that the tournament will be a big test for the pistol shooters, who have not met with success in the recent times.
“It is a great event for the pistol shooters. They have done well in the practice session and now they have to translate this into success in competition,” he said.
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