Controversy erupted at the Kadarpur Full Bore Shooting Ranges in Gurgaon, with 17 contesting countries coming out in the open to protest the juries’ decision to allow four countries to ‘re-shoot’ after they complained about malfunctioning of targets and machines on Tuesday.
Sources said after the protests grew louder and shooters threatened to boycott the event, the chief jury of appeal, Canada’s Pauline Pilkington, and jury, New Zealand’s Graeme Hudson, rushed to the range to defuse the crisis.
Finally, the ‘re-shoot’ was cancelled and sanity restored. New Zealand’s Mike Collings and John Snowden were declared the gold-medal winners.
The jury of appeal from India, DVS Rao, told HT, “Wales, Canada, South Africa and Northern Ireland were given the benefit of re-shoot after they protested that either their targets were not being recorded, or getting incorrectly registered. The remaining 17 countries lodged protests and after the juries were convinced, the re-shoot was cancelled.” The Australians too reportedly appealed about the targets going “haywire” in the final 1000-yard shoot. The Kiwis won on count-back after they were tied with Canada, with Scotland clinching the bronze.
A blame game also erupted in the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). One of the juries of appeal, Shyam Singh Yadav — also the NRAI treasurer — when contacted, said his duty was at the Karni Singh Range and he had nothing to do with the controversy.
But NRAI acting president, Avtar Singh Sethi, said, “Who else other than Yadav and Rao are the juries at Kadarpur. Why was Yadav at the Kadarpur Range yesterday when he says he is posted at the Karni Range? He is the jury of appeal and was in Kadarpur there yesterday,” said a furious Sethi.