Shooter slams Delhi Games

A BENDIGO shooter has launched a scathing attack on the Indian government and the Commonwealth Shooting Federation over their handling of shooting events at the Games, which he claims were more like a chook lottery than an elite competition.Back in Bendigo after a disappointing end to his Commonwealth Games campaign, fullbore shooter Geoff Grenfell, together with fellow Australian James Corbett, is demanding an apology from the Indian Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Shooting Federation for allegedly bringing the sport into disrepute at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.Grenfell and Corbett were among 42 shooters in the fullbore shooting event affected by a faulty target system, which was revealed to be 30 years old and unable to cope with the ranges used in the competition.Following the event, Grenfell, the 1994 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and Corbett wrote a letter to major Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times calling for a written apology from the Indian Prime Minister for all competitors in the fullbore event.“We are devastated by the ineptitude of the promoting body (National Rifle Association of India and Commonwealth Shooting Federation) in providing a clear set of rules,” he said. “Our reputation and sport were brought into disrepute by a few individuals who have no regard for the integrity of the competition. “The host nation must take responsibility and, therefore, I humbly ask the Indian Prime Minister for a written apology to every one of the 42 shooters (who participated in the fullbore competition),” the Australian shooters’ letter said. Grenfell, who was leading the pairs match and was placed second in the individual match leading up to the final stage, fell to 14th place as a result of malfunctioning targets on the 1000-metre range.He said the National Rifle Association of India and the Commonwealth Shooting Federation were aware of the condition of the equipment but failed to update the technology following a crisis meeting after the CSF Championships held at the Kardapur Shooting Range in April.“James and I went over for the CSF Championships in April, which is part of the preparation for the Commonwealth Games, and in a meeting with CSF chairman Graeme Hudson they said they would fix things before the Games and they did nothing,” he said.Grenfell said the system used at both the CSF Championships and the Commonwealth Games was antiquated and was not able to cope with the long-range targets that were required in the fullbore competition.“A lot of shooters who had medal chances just missed out in what was basically a chook lottery,” he said. “You could have had a reasonable score on one target and then another on the next. With the precision we achieve in our sport you just don’t miss targets that are only 300 metres away.“It was just mayhem at the site and the way it turned out was like they were trying to turn the shooters against each other, and a lot of competitors have gone home just disillusioned about the sport.“Heads need to roll, but really all we want is an apology.”