SSA relishes Games trip to happy hunting ground India

Singapore’s Ho Xiu Yi in action at the 2019 SEA Games.
Singapore’s Ho Xiu Yi in action at the 2019 SEA Games.PHOTO: SNOC

The Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) has welcomed the likely reinstatement of the sport at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, while also noting that the potential venue of India is a favourable one for the Republic's shooters.

SSA high performance manager Jeanine Heng told The Straits Times yesterday: "We are not fussed about the location because we are used to the shooting events being held far from the main group during major Games.

"And India is where we traditionally do well, having won five golds at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and earned two Olympics spots in the qualifiers in 2016."

Shooting's exclusion from Birmingham 2022 led to a warning of a boycott from India, which won 63 of its 181 Games golds since 1966 from shooting.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) withdrew the threat and has instead written to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and offered to host a pre-Games shooting and archery competition. It could cost as much as £20 million (S$35.5 million), reported the BBC.

Shooting has also proven to be a gold mine for Singapore.

Since On Shaw Ming won the men's 25m centre-fire pistol event in 2006, there were a further nine golds - accounting for more than a quarter of the Republic's overall haul of 37 titles.

National shooter Martina Veloso, who won two golds at the 2018 Games, said: "We go to Delhi quite often as we have a World Cup stop there almost every year, so we are familiar with India. If there is a chance for us to help Singapore win some medals, we will gladly use it."

Aside from 1970, shooting has featured at every edition of the quadrennial Games since 1966.

In 2018, Birmingham dropped it from its list though, explaining it did not have suitable facilities and was unwilling to use the Bisley National Shooting Centre, the Manchester 2002 competition venue which is located 200km away.

The IOA's proposal has received backing from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), which said on Sunday it will guarantee full compliance with the rules and regulations and provide all the necessary technical support.

FIRED UP

We are not fussed about the location because we are used to the shooting events being held far from the main group during major Games. And India is where we traditionally do well.

JEANINE HENG, SSA high performance manager, on India being a potential venue for the sport for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

It would be the first time the Commonwealth Games is held across two countries, though this is not unprecedented in other major Games.

The 1956 Olympics was officially hosted by Melbourne but, due to Australia's quarantine regulations, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden. The 1920 Games was held in Antwerp, Belgium, while two sailing events were held in nearby Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

CGF chief executive David Grevemberg confirmed on Monday the organisation had received the IOA's recommendation and a decision is expected next month.

He added: "Key aspects of this assessment will be to ensure that the proposal conforms with our rules and regulations, is operationally deliverable, sets manageable precedents for the Commonwealth Games and ultimately adds value to athletes and the Commonwealth Sports Movement."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'SSA relishes Games trip to happy hunting ground India'. Print Edition | Subscribe