'Shooting being excluded from Commonwealth Games 2022 is bad news for the future generations,' says Gagan Narang, Joydeep Karmakar
Earlier on Saturday, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) dashed all hopes of seeing shooting reinstated at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, as it categorically stated that it would not rescind on the issue, and that its stand was final and binding on all participating nations. Furthermore, the CGF conformed that the status of shooting was an “optional sport”.
When Sportskeeda got in touch with Olympics bronze-medallist Gagan Narang on the matter, the shooter conceded that without shooting, India's medal tally would take a hit.
"Shooting has traditionally been one of India's most productive disciplines in multi-disciplinary sports events. In that sense, there will be less number of medals in India's kitty and that would finally reflect on the tally," he said.
Narang also added that it is not good news for the young shooters who were looking forward to make a mark at the Commonwealth Games. However, on the positive side, it would mean that there will be more focus on the 2024 Olympic Games.
"It isn't a good news for some of the youngsters who look forward to winning medals at the multidisciplinary events. Lack of competition will mean lack of interest. Over the last few years, there was a steady surge in the number of people joining shooting and wanting to be a shooter. They wanted to be on the podium. With that dream taking a hit, Olympics will be becoming the primary target," said Narang.
The 34-year-old, who himself has won multiple gold medals in the various editions of the Commonwealth Games, concluded by saying, "Hopefully, there will be some better sense to bring it back in the next Commonwealth Games after 2022."
Shooter-turned-coach Joydeep Karmakar also resonated Narang's thoughts when inquired about the latest developments.
"It is a very bad news, not a very smart move by the Commonwealth Games Federation, or whoever took the decision. To exclude a prime sport like shooting is definitely not going to help the Commonwealth Games movement," he told Sportskeeda.
"Shooting has been an integral part of the Olympics also from the first edition. I think it's a shameful act by the governors of the Commonwealth Games. They should think about it, they should think about the future of the athletes and the direction in which they are moving forward," Karmakar added.
Without naming India, David Grevemberg, the CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, had written in a letter to the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) that the federation can comprehend the disappointment of excluding shooting when “a particular country has enjoyed medal success in this sport historically”.
Pointing this out, Karmakar said that it would be alarming if the sport was indeed dropped because of India's dominance.
"India have dominated shooting at the Commonwealth Games. If they have indeed excluded the sport because of that -- I hope it was not driven by that -- then it is very alarming. If that is the case, then it is the saddest and most corrupted day in sports history," he said.
Clarification that shooting has not been 'scrapped' from CWG 2022
"In response to erroneous media reports, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) would like to clarify that shooting has not been “scrapped” from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. In no uncertain terms, the CGF wishes to clarify that shooting is, and always has been, an optional sport which a Commonwealth Games Host City has the choice to include on its Sports Programme should it so wish, and if it feels the sport is in line with its transformative ambitions for the Games.
Though it was already an optional sport, its status [as an optional sport] was reconfirmed by the entire Commonwealth of Nations at the 2015 CGF General Assembly. It is wholly inaccurate to suggest that the CGF has “scrapped” shooting from the 2022 programme. One of the unique benefits a future Games Host City partner has is the ability to tailor the Games in line with its very own ambitions and aspirations."