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Commonwealth Games 2018: NRAI president Raninder Singh calls for boycott of 2022 Commonwealth Games

SENIOR ANALYST
News
364   //    17 Apr 2018, 19:58 IST

<p>Manu Bhaker of India competes in the Women's 10m Air Pistol Final during Shooting on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Manu Bhaker of India competes in the Women's 10m Air Pistol Final during Shooting on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

What’s the story?

Raninder Singh, the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has slammed the decision of shooting being excluded from the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is to be held in Birmingham. He lashed out, calling for a complete boycott of the next edition of the Games by India.

“Within a day or two, I am going to write to the Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and will urge them to boycott the 2022 CWG if shooting is not re-included in the games," he said at a function to felicitate the Indian shooters in New Delhi.

“We will strongly appeal to the Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association to withdraw Indian team from the 2022 edition of the CWG,” he added.

In case you didn’t know…

Raninder is set to appeal to the Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association for the withdrawal of the Indian team from the next edition of the CWG. 

The heart of the matter

Manu Bhaker, Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu, Shreyasi Singh, Tejaswini Sawant, Anish Bhanwala, and Sanjeev Rajput all bagged a gold medal for India at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Along with this, the shooters of Indian contingent also won 4 Silver medal and 5 Bronze medals. Add these up, and we have 16 medals in all which the Indian Shooting Contingent won at the Gold Coast. This is a phenomenal number, almost 1/4th of the total medals won India at the Commonwealth Games.

These figures show the sheer magnitude of the impact that shooting has had in the overall medal tally of the Commonwealth Games. With recent news coming in that Shooting is going to be excluded in the next edition of the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president has not sat back and has come out all guns blazing in reply to this. He has urged India to boycott the Games at Birmingham. This reaction of his is not unexpected and it is completely justified for him to be miffed. 

India brings home so many medals in shooting from the Commonwealth Games that if shooting is excluded from the Commonwealth Games 2022 then India will surely end up multiple positions down. Shooting had a monumental impact in ensuring that India ends up in 3rd position this time around. There will be serious repercussions for India if shooting is to be excluded. 

The Birmingham Organising Committee had cited legacy issues as the reason for exclusion of shooting. They are doubtful of competent use of the shooting ranges once the event concludes.

What’s next?

Singh is speculating that shooting is being excluded deliberately. This can also be seen by the fact that the shooting events have gradually decreased over time at the Commonwealth Games. After the exclusion of the pairs event & team event, now the complete exclusion of shooting from the Commonwealth Games is certainly unacceptable for India and Raninder Singh is doing all in his power to get the decision overturned.

Author’s take

It will now rest in the hands of the Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association to put pressure on the Birmingham Organising Committee so that they are convinced to revoke their decision.

On the positive side, Indian shooters will now focus on the qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. There is still a long way to go to for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and hopefully, there will be a change in decision.

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SENIOR ANALYST
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