Updated: February 25, 2020 2:01:48 pm
Two months after the plans for a new International shooting range at Sarangpur were shelved, Chandigarh has bagged the hosting rights for the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships to be held in January 2022.
The decision to hold the championships six months prior to the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, England, was approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation at Birmingham.
While the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), had submitted a study with Chandigarh Administration about the proposed Sarangpur Shooting Range being within 275 metres of the Sarangpur village followed by the Chandigarh Administration shelving the plan, the Commonwealth Shooting Championship will be conducted at the Sector 25 Patiala ki Rao Shooting range (currently manual) with the administration planning to get more land and renovating the range; apart from plans for Commonwealth Archery Championship to be held in open or close space depending on the discussions with the Indian Olympic Association and other federations.
“Yes, the plan for the shooting range at Sarangpur was shelved in December last year. Getting to host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships is a huge thing for Chandigarh and we are in talks with the Chandigarh police regarding getting more land at Patiala ki Rao Shooting Range, Sector 25. The renovation and construction of new facilities will be done after consultation with all the concerned departments and I am sure Chandigarh will provide world-class facilities to the players,” said Kamal Kishor Yadav, Secretary Sports, Chandigarh Administration.
While the Patiala Ki Rao Shooting Range was completed in 2013, after missing four deadlines for a new 300 M range, the range is still not fully automatic. The city has been hosting Chandigarh State Shooting Championships at the range but misses out on national competitions due to the lack of a fully automatic range.
“As per my knowledge, the Sector 25 Patiala Ki Rao range has the area required for all the events and needs fully automation of the range. The Chandigarh Sports department will work along with the Engineering department to provide the best infrastructure for the events and we will hold meeting with the higher officials in the coming days for the planning and execution of the work related to up gradation of the facilities. Last year, Chandigarh had hosted a national ranking archery tournament in Sector 17 ground and the archery events can be done in open or indoor depending on the need,” said Tejdeep Singh Saini, Director Sports, Chandigarh.
Chandigarh shooter Anjum Moudgil, who had won silver medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, apart from silver medal in 2018 ISSF World Cup and 2018 ISSF World Championship, believed that hosting the Commonwealth Championship will benefit the youngsters in the city as well the region.
“The best thing which will happen after hosting Commonwealth Shooting Championship will be the chance to train at a fully automatic range. For years, Chandigarh shooters have to travel or shift to Delhi to train and the automatic shooting range will end such woes for the shooters. It is too early to say but I will be able to compete in the championships in 2022, but winning a medal in front of the home crowd will be a special feeling for me,” shared Moudgil.
Coach of the Indian shooting team, DS Chandel too believes that the initiative will benefit the shooters.
“Patiala Ki Rao Shooting range is among the few ranges where there are indoor and outdoor facilities. Having a fully automatic range will be good for the shooters as well those interested in the sport. I am sure more and more fans will come to watch the 2020 Championships,” shared Chandel.
Chandigarh Archery Association had hosted a National Ranking Archery Championship at Sector 17 in April 2019 and the top 95 archers in India had competed in the championship. “Archery is getting popular in the region and hosting such an event will be a grand thing. We had organised the national ranking tournament in open and a big ground will be needed with makeshift stands. Having a ground with permanent stands can also be considered for hosting such an event. The Chandigarh Administration should also think about providing a permanent archery facility for archers,” said Sanket Sharma, treasurer of the Chandigarh Archery Association.
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