The All-India Women's Air Weapons Shooting Competition, which was launched with great fanfare in Badal, Punjab last year, will not take place this year.
Confirming this a senior National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) official said that a combination of factors, including few bidders, were responsible for shelving the event.
“The international programme, including the World Cups and training camps started early this year. Besides, we hardly received any bids,” he said, adding that the event would definitely be held next year. “We are not going to shelve the event. Usually the domestic tournaments are over before March, but this year, the preparations for the World Cups began quite early,” he said.
On the reluctance of district and state units to come forward to host the event, he said: “Organising events of such magnitude requires resources, which few cash-strapped association are willing to spend. With quite a few shooters having been attached to the core group for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and undergoing training, the event would have been shorn of top stars,” he said. “The Amity group had approached us to host the event but they gave dates only in May, not before or after that. No other bidder came forward,” he said.
Last year, during the exclusively women's tournament, air pistol shooter Heena Sidhu got a break and came on the national and international scene in a big way, clinching gold in the Nationals at Todhupuzha (Kerala) and then bagging silver in the ISSF World Cup in Beijing this year. The prize money last year too was a major attraction and scores of top shooters participated in the event.