A day before the start of the Commonwealth Shooting Full-bore Championships at the Kadarpur Range in Gurgaon, Graeme Hudson, the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF) president, has dropped a bombshell, terming the preparations a “publicity nightmare”.
Highlighting 13 shortcomings in his communication to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) on Tuesday night, the New Zealander says, “I have this afternoon walked off the CRPF range (Kadarpur) site in total frustration of the lack of action in preparation for the championships. We are well short of being ready and unless there is an immediate change of attitude and application by all, this event will be a publicity nightmare.
“The bulk of the shooters and team officials arrive tomorrow (Thursday) and there is much to be done but virtually nothing happening to finish the construction and associated services required to conduct this event.
“I request an urgent meeting of the recipients and myself to work through all items yet to be done, decide who will do each item and a timeframe of when. Official practice is on Thursday so we have just a little over 24 hours to complete all outstanding requirements.”
Among the major works that are hanging fire, include, 1. No mains power for targets at the firing point or various target distances; 2. No target numbers; 3. No flagpoles or flags for the 300m range; 4. No sand bagging of walls at 900, 945, 975 yards and butt wall and only partial sand bagging of the 1003-yard wall.”
The biggest issue which Hudson says needs attention is getting the ammunition cleared from Customs and readying the armoury.
The Kiwi says he has been unable to carry out inspection as the “rooms are locked and CPWD was not opening them”. Expressing his frustration with the National Rifle Association of India, the CSF president says, “No NRAI presence in the office to prepare for administration of the championships.”
Hudson refused to speak to HT, saying he was busy. An SMS, too, elicited no response.
NRAI acting president, Avtar Sethi, said he had received a communication from Hudson. “How can he say ‘no NRAI presence at the range’. We have been working overtime to ensure the range is in place. I asked him why he had written such a letter to which he responded, ‘I did so in frustration’”, said Sethi. At a time when India’s top shooters may have to practice and compete with borrowed guns, this is another low for Indian shooting.