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Woolwich wins 2012 Olympic shooting bid

The UK shooting community reacted angrily to the announcement on 19 March that the shooting events for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will remain at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich, in south-east London. Over the past three months, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has been carrying out feasibility studies on the National Shooting Centre, in Bisley, to consider it as an alternative site. The ODA has also carried out similar work looking at vacant land in Barking, in East London.

The Olympic Board ruled out Bisley as the shooting venue because of the “cost, operational complexity and time risks associated with the proposals.” Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee commented: “The ODA has conducted a thorough review process of all three locations. However, the Board still feels that Woolwich is the best choice of venue. It is an iconic venue which is close to the Olympic Village, with a strong shooting heritage, and it is one of the Greenwich cluster of Olympic and Paralympic venues.”

However, the shooting community is furious at the decision. British Shooting’s Philip Boakes said: “We have been in touch with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games since December 2005, but it has hardly taken up our offers of consultation. It has worked entirely on its own, not listened to what we have to say, and I’m afraid the public is going to be the bearer of a very expensive Olympic Games.”