Indian shooters dream of representing the nation at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games suffered a huge setback after the sport was excluded from the event list, that is set to take place in Birmingham.
Shooting and its four disciplines have been removed from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games programme due to proper facilities not being available in the city. The four disciplines of shooting includes Fullbore, Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun.
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The Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg wrote in an open letter to the editor of Britain’s Shooting Times, “We know Birmingham organisers consider all optional sports carefully, but a final decision was reached.
Peter Hannon, the spokesperson of Commonwealth Games in England, said.“It’s a decision that the Birmingham bid as a whole has made rather than just Commonwealth Games England. The Birmingham bid made an assessment of all the optional sports. And they picked the sport which were enabled to take place close to Birmingham”.
“We’d like as many people to be a part of the Games but obviously. You are limited on the number of athletes and sport, so that forced some difficult choices,” he added.
After Durban’s pull-out as hosts for the event, Birmingham was declared as the venue for the 2022 edition. Also, shooting features only as an optional sport, and the host nation can pick upto seven such sports. Birmingham has picked judo, table tennis, wrestling, gymnastics, diving, cycling and 3v3 basketball.
Shooting has been contested at every Commonwealth Games since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970. Shooting has been the brought almost 26% of India’ medal at CWG games. Out of the total 438 medals India has won in the Commonwealth Games, shooting has alone accounted for 118 medals.
India has a rich history in shooting at Commonwealth games with 56 golds, 40 silver & 22 bronze medals to its name. The Asian nation consolidates the second position after Australia at 1st spot.
In the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Indian shooters bagged a total of 17 medals in the event.
Fact of the matter
According to Byelaw 14 of the Commonwealth Games Federation Constitution:
- Every host city must include the following sports. Swimming, Cycling (road), Boxing, Tennis, Weightlifting, Hockey (men and women), Squash, Badminton, Netball (women). Judo, Rugby Wrestling, Triathlon, Lawn Bowls, Athletics, Gymnastics and Table Tennis.
- The law states that the host city can include a maximum of seven of the following optional sports. Archery, Basketball (men and women), Beach Volleyball, Cricket, Cycling(Track and mountain), Diving, 4 disciplines of Shooting, Triathlon (para) and Table Tennis (para).
- However Birmingham City Council is in favour of including shooting in the disciplines to be played at the games and according to the CWG Constitution. The organizers decide the optional sports according to their wish.
Indian Olympic Association on the other hand is planning to talk to the Birmingham City Council and Commonwealth Games England about reconsidering their decision of excluding shooting from the games.