— Published 21 January 2022

La Courneuve could lose the shot

A headache is in store for the Paris 2024 OCOG. According to information from Radio France and L’Equipe, the temporary site for the shooting events in La Courneuve, in Seine-Saint-Denis, could be wiped off the map of the Games. The reason for this is a series of problems discovered on the former military site where the shooting range is to be installed. The prefect of the Ile-de-France region, Marc Guillaume, wrote in a letter to Tony Estanguet, the president of the OCOG: the project requires environmental investigations, notably because of regulations relating to the protection of protected species and the law on water. According to the prefect, the investigations could conclude that there is an impact on the environment, which could lead to litigation and delay the installation of the competition site by twelve months. With the timeframe tight, the OCOG could find itself in a difficult situation. In addition, the constraints imposed by the Natura 2000 classification of the site would mean that the number of competition venues would have to be reduced from three to two, a change that is incompatible with the requirements of the International Shooting Federation. Clearly, the project to hold the shooting event at La Courneuve has taken a hit, even if it has not yet been definitively ruled out. According to Radio France, a plan B is already on the table. It would provide for a relocation of the discipline to the Centre National du Tir sportif de Châteauroux-Déols, in the department of Indre, an existing complex where several international competitions have taken place. It is located about 270 kilometres from Paris. In such a scenario, Seine-Saint-Denis would lose a new Olympic site. The Ile-de-France department has already seen three sports initially planned for its territory – swimming race, badminton and volleyball – slip through its fingers when the map of competition venues was redrawn.