Failure to build venue cuts East Asian Games shooting golds by 9

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am

The number of shooting gold medals up for grabs at the East Asian Games, to be held in Hong Kong in December next year, will be cut by nine to just four due to failure to build an outdoor shooting centre in Tuen Mun.

The organiser, 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited, said yesterday it had decided to go with an indoor shooting venue.

'As all competition schedules and venues of the [Games] had to be finalised in November this year and the new shooting centre at Tuen Mun may not be ready before December 2009, the EAG Company and the Hong Kong Shooting Association decided to use the existing shooting venue at South China Athletic Association to stage the EAG shooting events,' the company said.

The venue had been approved by the Asian Shooting Federation and East Asian Games Association, it said.

More than 4,000 athletes and team officials are expected to take part in the Games, which will feature competition in 23 sports from December 5 to 13. The Shooting Association proposed building a new outdoor shooting centre at the Pillar Point landfill in Tuen Mun, but construction has barely started.

Games organisers originally planned 290 gold medals, including 13 for shooting, but the choice of smaller indoor venues has forced the number of golds to be cut to 281, including four for shooting. Scrapped competitions include the 25m pistol, in which Hong Kong won a gold medal in the last East Asian Games.

The shooting centre project was estimated to cost HK$15 million. It is understood the construction project faced difficulty with financing and complex procedures related to landfills.