The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bindra pulls out

Hyderabad: Football teams have pulled out at random, confirmations in other disciplines were late, and Thursday even Indian shooting star Abhinav Bindra pulled out — following advise of his American coaches in Colorado Springs where he is undergoing training. Yet, the Games, postponed several times are set to be inaugurated Friday by Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani at the GMC Balayogi Stadium for the eight-day Games.

There has been a loss of sheen, though, many countries keeping back their best athletes for other championships. The number of athletes and participating countries are yet to be confirmed as they are still reaching in batches, yet organisers are hopeful of making it a successful show.

“The African contingent would be a strong one comprising 80 gold medallists from the All-Africa Games,” Indian Olympics Association (IOA) chief Suresh Kalmadi said.

The Games, to be held in six stadiums across the city, would see competitions being held in eight disciplines with around 2,000 athletes expected to take part.

Despite Bindra’s pullout, India will be fielding their best teams in shooting and tennis, but they are unlikely to face any good challenge in these two events.

A release issued here Thursday by Bindras family said that Sunny Thomas, chief coach of rifle shooting, has conveyed to National Rifle Association of India secretary general Baljit Sethi the non-participation of Bindra.

Bindra practices with the American shooting team in the US for the Olympics.

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