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Shooters ready for Beijing Olympics sans cartridges

The secretary general of Indian Olympic Association Raja Randhir Singh expressed anguish on the delay and said shooters who have qualified for Olympics did not have the ammunition to practice.

other Updated: Feb 02, 2008 23:48 IST

Indian shooters may have to start their preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games on funds from other sources as the Union Government is yet to sanction the required grant for the nine quota holders, according to a top IOA official.

The secretary general of Indian Olympic Association Raja Randhir Singh expressed anguish on the delay and said shooters who have qualified for Olympics did not have the ammunition to practice.

Singh was here to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of Yadvindra Public School on Saturday.

"The Government is yet to give funds to Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the training for the probables for Beijing Olympics and time is running out."

He said that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has also received no word from the Sports Ministry about the funds for the training and preparation of the Olympic quota holders.

The 2008 World Cup will start in April and an important tournament for the preparation as the Olympic range will be on test.

He said they are foreseeing medals in the sport as nine shooters have already qualified for the Olympics, where as two boxers, four Archers have also made their place in Beijing Olympics, he added.

He said since Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have decided to pair up, and with Sania Mirza also there, tennis might also fetch medals for India in Olympics.

Asked about the 2020 Olympics bid by India, he said "Hosting Olympics is not a big deal. Winning medals is the challenge. There is no point in hosting Olympics if we don't win medals," Raja said.

"While India has been spending about Rs 150 crore for sports promotion, China is spending Rs 1000 crore alone for Olympics training."

Randhir Singh said the bidding process would begin soon after the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which New Delhi would host

"The process will start in 2011 immediately after the Commonwealth Games." he said.