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A leading continental championship

The Asian Shooting Championship (ASC), inaugurated in 1967, has steadily grown in stature and status. From its humble beginnings 36 years ago, it has emerged as one the premier continental championships in the International Shooting Sports Federationís calendar.

It is not a surprise though as Asia is home to some of the best shooters in the world. Members of the Asian Shooting Confederation who have produced world-class shooters are Uzbekistan, Mongolia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and India. Some of them have gone on to win at the highest level of the sport, namely the Olympics and World Shooting Championships.

Deservingly, ISSF, then UIT, accorded it MQS status for the Olympics, meaning shooters who beat the minimum qualifying standard in the championship were allowed to take part in the Olympics.

For the 10th ASC, ISSF have accorded it higher status by allocating it with 22 quota places (automatic qualification) for the 2004 Athens Olympics. In fact, itís the last international championship to be given quota places for the next summer Olympics in Athens.

That will surely encourage the participating nations to send their best shooters for the championship because gold medal winners (provided they beat the minimum qualifying mark en-route to their victories) will get to see action in Athens.

The 10th ASC, to be staged at the newly refurbished Subang Shooting Range on Feb 8-18, 2004, is the third to be hosted by Malaysia. The other two were held in Subang Shooting Range in 1975 and Langkawi International Shooting Range in 2000. A total of 17 ISSF sanctioned events will be held.


Malaysian Who Excel in ASC

Shooters are among the few personalities in the country who have excelled at the highest level of sports administration in Asia.

Two Malaysians namely the late Tun Tan Siew Sin and current NSAM president Ally Ong have that rare honour. Tun Tan was a past president of ASC while Ally is the current president of ASC.

Tun Tan, an avid shooter and also a former president of the National Shooting Association of Malaysia, headed ASC from 1971 to 1975 while Ally has been at the helm since 1995.

The duoís chairmanship of ASC is indeed an honour for Malaysia. It shows that Malaysia have capable shooting leaders and administrators.

The Asian Shooting Union which was then known was formed on Dec 8, 1966 when 17 delegates from 12 Asian countries met in the Bangkok Asian Games. They felt the sport had grown in stature and thus there was a need to form a continental shooting body to regulate it in Asia.

The idea of its formation was mooted in 1954 during the second Asian Games in Manila. This was intensified in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo where Japan and all Asian participants agreed that an establishment must be formed as early as possible.

It was first known as the Pan Asian Shooting Union before the members decided to rename it as the Asian Shooting Federation (ASF) in 1967.

It was on July 20, 1967 at the Tokorozawa Clay Pigeon Shooting Range, Tokyo, Japan that the first Executive Committee and General Assembly were convened where eight member nations participated. It was also on this auspicious occasion that ASF was changed to Asian Shooting Confederation, as advised by the U.I.T, now ISSF.

Mr Shintaro Fukushima of Japan had the honour of leading ASC and it was only fitting that the first Asian shooting championship was held in Tokyo, 1967.

Since then, ASC has traditionally been held at its presidentís nation of domicile.

Malaysiaís turn of hosting ASC came in 1975 when Tun Tan was ASC president. This prompted him to spruce up the Subang Shooting Range which a year before was still a make-shift range.

It was a proud achievement to NSAMís cap when Tun Tan got SSR ready for the 3rd Asian shooting championship in 1975.

Like his predecessor, Ally also stuck to tradition by ensuring that the ninth Asian shooting championship was held in Malaysia, Jan 22-31, 2000. Since he was returned unopposed in 1999, the 10th ASC will be held in Malaysia again on Feb 8-18, 2004.

He has the rare honour of being the only ASC president to be re-elected unopposed for two terms.


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