In what can be a major blow to the Indian athletes and their sporting fans, the IOA is contemplating of withdrawing from the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the Olympic body dropped the shooting sport. In the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, the Indian shooters had bagged 16 out of the 66 medals.
Three sporting disciplines- women’s T20 cricket, para table tennis, and beach volleyball will be included in the quadrennial extravaganza in Birmingham instead. Former Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had written to Commonwealth Games Federation to make sure shooting is included but the Federation left it to the hosting nation.
“Shooting is a big sport in India and for many shooters, CWG is a stepping stone to Olympics two years later. It is a big setback for shooting as well as Indian sport as a whole. We have made representations to the CGF, and the government has also done that, but still shooting has been left out,” said IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
When asked if IOA can boycott the Commonwealth Games as a mark of protest, Rajeev said, “That cannot be ruled out. We can even go to that extent.”
The only way shooting can make a return to the Commonwealth Games is if the rest of the Commonwealth nations vote for its inclusion in the CGF meeting to be held in the next month. The IOA is likely to approach other various national bodies to get their vote.