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Sep 18, 2009 at 12:31pm IST

India cancels shooting event over snub

New Delhi: India has refused to stage a World Cup meet early next year after it was dropped as an Olympic qualifying event and not because facilities at the venue were lacking.

"The ISSF (International Sports Shooting Federation) withdrew quota places for the London Olympics from the event. Why should we waste resources when we are not going to get anything?" National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) official Rajiv Bhatia told Reuters on Friday.

"We had been hoping for home ground advantage, to get some quota places. Now we can hold a World Cup later."

SHOOTING IN THE DARK: 2010 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi has been cancelled.

Bhatia denied the pullout, which led to the cancellation of the March event, had been due to the slow progress of renovation work at the shooting range in New Delhi ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be staged from Oct. 3-14 next year.

Rule changes mean shooters can earn Olympic berths only from key international meets staged within two years of the 2012 Games, starting from next July, and the scrapping of the India meeting has been confirmed by ,Tthe sport's ruling body.

"The 2010 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi has been cancelled. The organising committee withdrew its application in an official communication to the ISSF," a statement on its website (www.issf-shooting.org) said.

Despite opting out of hosting the World Cup event, India will stage the Commonwealth championship at the venue in February as planned.

"There is no change with the Commonwealth championship. We're hopeful the range work will be completed," Bhatia added.

Indian shooters made a major breakthrough last year when their rifle marksman Abhinav Bindra won the country's first individual gold medal at the Beijing Games.

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