CWG chief firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat

LONDON: Commonwealth Games chief Louise Martin has said shooting will not be part of the 2022 edition in Birmingham despite a threat by India to boycott the entire event in protest.

laxmi@tribune.com

London, August 13

Commonwealth Games chief Louise Martin has said shooting will not be part of the 2022 edition in Birmingham despite a threat by India to boycott the entire event in protest.

Martin, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that the decision to exclude shooting from the programme for the first time since 1974 had come down to a question of logistics. Shooting has been a high-yielding discipline for India, with shooters accounting for 16 of the country’s 66 medals, including seven golds, at last year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“A sport has to earn the right to be in the Games,” Martin told the paper. “Shooting has never been a compulsory sport. We have to work through it but shooting will not be in the Games. We have no space anymore.”

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is yet to respond to Martin’s comments. The Telegraph reported that Birmingham’s offer to hold two shooting events had been turned down by the International Shooting Sport Federation, which wanted a full programme.

The closest facility to Birmingham deemed capable by organisers of hosting a full shooting programme was in Bisley, Surrey, about 209 km away. Martin, the report added, would try and meet officials on the Indian side and also intended to speak to Britain’s sports minister, Nigel Adams.

Oz mulling boycott too

Shooters Union Australia (SUA), a lobby group claiming to represent thousands of firearm owners and enthusiasts across Australia, which is affiliated to the National Rifle Association in the US, has also demanded to boycott the 2022 CWG. Australia had won nine medals, including three gold, in shooting at the Gold Coast CWG, the second-highest tally after India.

SUA president Graham Park said: “Australia should stand with India in demanding the shooting events be returned to the 2022 Commonwealth Games line-up, and be prepared to carry through with a boycott if they are not.” — Agencies

Women’s T20 cricket added to 2022 CWG

Melbourne: Cricket is set to return to the Commonwealth Games after a 24-year absence with organisers confirming that the programme for Birmingham 2022 would include a women’s T20 tournament. The T20 event is one of three new events added to the next edition of the Games, alongside Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis, but there was no room on the schedule for shooting. Eight teams will take part in the game’s shortest format, which will be held at Edgbaston, boosting the total number of medal events for women at Birmingham 2022 to 135 — two more than men in a first for a major multi-sport event. Cricket’s last appearance at the Games was at Kuala Lumpur in 1998, when a South African team featuring Jacques Kallis won the men’s 50-over competition. — PTI

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