Big blow for Indian contingent as shooting dropped from 2022 Commonwealth Games
What's the story?
In a huge blow to India's medal prospects, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has decided to exclude shooting from the programme at the 2022 Birmingham Games.
In case you didn't know...
Shooting is a sport that features on the Commonwealth Games Federation’s list of optional sports. Shooting has been contested at every Commonwealth Games since the one in Kingston in 1966, with the only exception of Edinburgh in 1970.
The sport of shooting has been the source of a quarter of India’s total medals at the Commonwealth Games. Out of the 438 medals that India has won at the Commonwealth Games, including 155 gold, 118 have come from shooting itself.
The heart of the matter
The Commonwealth Games Federation declared Birmingham as the host city on Thursday after Durban, the original pick pulled out due to financial constraints. Ian Ward, Leader of the Birmingham City Council and head of the CWG bid declared that Shooting will be excluded from the programme.
The Indian shooting contingent has been a major contributor to India's recent Commonwealth Games' success as it has helped them stay in top-five of the medals tally at every Commonwealth Games since 2002. India has won a total of 56 gold, 40 silver and 22 bronze medals in the sport and are second on the list of all-time medal winners behind Australia.
The chances of shooting being reinstated into the final programme for the event appear to be bleak despite the lobbying by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and a last-minute push by Sports Minister and former Olympic medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Due to the absence of shooting from the CWG programme, it is likely that the CGF might include cricket at the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Birmingham bid officials have been in touch with England and Wales Cricket Board to discuss prospects of having a separate men’s and women’s T20 cricket event at the Games.
The absence of shooting from the Commonwealth Games will definitely put a huge dent in India's medal tally position as it was one of the major medal-winning sport for the country.