Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not even one spectator for shooters at Delhi 2010 games

Australia's shooters were expecting capacity crowds at the ranges of Delhi, with the locals obsessed with the sport and in love with its home-grown champions.

Instead, they got nothing.

Not a single spectator attended the first shooting events to be held at the Delhi Games, which are being held 17 kilometres south of the city and nestled among the densely populated suburbs of India's capital.

Competitors in the rifle and pistol pairs events had only the support of their coaches and teammates once shooting began, while media and police officers took up just a handful of the 500 seats in each state-of-the art range.

Commonwealth Games veteran and 13-time medal winner Bruce Quick had been expecting much more noise and atmosphere than the silence that fell over the venue on Tuesday.
"I'm surprised, absolutely, and disappointed that as far as I could tell there were no spectators," he said.
"It's very strange because people that I have spoken to said they couldn't get tickets, so I'm not sure where all the tickets went.

"No spectators, there was no atmosphere.

"I noted there were journalists, officials and shooters and that was it.
"Maybe we should break out the vuvuzelas."
Games officials were prepared for large crowds to descend on the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, with roads closed off to local traffic around the venue and a large food hall set up inside the precinct.
Indian newspaper columnists have also been spruiking the event in the lead-up to competition, saying "all eyes" would be on the home shooters as they aim to sweep the shooting medal count.
Australian pistol shooter Linda Ryan said she was also surprised by the apparent lack of interest in the event, but expected more people to come through the gates in the coming days.

"I guess being the first day it's a little underdone," she said.

"But I think once it gets further on, and particularly with the two Indian girls winning gold today, I'd be expecting a few more spectators tomorrow."
© 2010 AAP

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