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Olympic shooting set for Woolwich

An artist's impression of Olympic shooting at Woolwich Barracks
Shooting's world governing body always wanted to stay in Woolwich

London 2012 organisers have decided to stage Olympic shooting at Woolwich despite opposition to the plan.

There had been proposals to move the sport to Bisley or Barking but, after investigating them both, the Olympic Board went back to their first choice.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said the decision "allows us to deliver the compact Games we promised in 2005".

British Shooting backed Surrey's Bisley venue, while Barking & Dagenham Council said a move there could save £10m.

The board agreed that feasibility work would continue into Barking Reach but only as a reserve option.

Plans to stage the competition in Woolwich have infuriated the shooting lobby from the beginning as the proposed venue is a temporary 7,500-seat structure that will be taken down after the Games have finished.

We are delighted that Woolwich has been selected

Horst Schreiber
International Shooting Sports Federation

Using temporary venues was a key aspect of London's original bid as it was intended to keep costs down and reduce the risk of leaving behind "white elephants" - something that has plagued previous Games and caused concern at International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters.

But as costs at Woolwich have risen - from an initial quote of £30m to a latest estimate of £42m - the logic of spending so much on a building that will only be used for a month has been increasingly called into question.

This renewed hope among shooting enthusiasts that Bisley, the spiritual home of British shooting and the venue for the 1908 Olympic competition, would get the nod.

The 3,000-acre site was London 2012's original choice for the shooting competition but lost favour when it became clear it needed a major upgrade.

And the IOC and international shooting federation (ISSF) had their hearts set on a location closer to the main Olympic hub.

Horst Schreiber, secretary general of the ISSF said: "We are delighted that Woolwich has been selected.

"It is a more appropriate venue than Bisley that meets all our requirements and allows our athletes to stay in the Olympic Village."

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see also
Barking makes bid for 2012 venue
18 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Bisley given fresh hope over 2012
19 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Olympics 2012 venue guide
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Coe defends 2012 shooting venue
21 Jan 08 |  London 2012

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