In a major setback for shooting, archery and wrestling, the three sports have not made the cut for inclusion in the 2026 Commonwealth Games (CWG).
The disciplines that the Commonwealth Games organizing committee has included in the initial list are aquatics, athletics, badminton, boxing, beach volleyball, T20 cricket, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowling, netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.
However, the organizers have clarified that they will add a few more disciplines later this year. India’s archery, shooting and wrestling federations can thus request to include their respective sports in the Games.
Read: Paris Olympics 2024: IOC announces revised list of boxing, weightlifting and shooting categories
India has been at the forefront of omitted sports at the Commonwealth Games. In the 2018 edition of CWG, India bagged 16 medals in shooting, including seven gold, four silver and five bronze medals. In wrestling, India won 12 medals, which included five gold, three silver and four bronze medals.
The upcoming 2022 edition of CWG in Birmingham doesn’t feature shooting.
Big names express anguish over non-inclusion of shooting, wrestling & archery in Commonwealth Games
Several sportspersons, including Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia, Manu Bhaker and Ronjan Singh Sodhi, expressed their anguish over their sports not being included in the CWG.
Taking to Twitter, Manu Bhaker said athletes from the UK and Australia are afraid of Indian shooters. She added that officials must take a call soon before it becomes too late.
“UK & Australia athletes in these events are back seater and afraid of us .. IOA @ kukubatra57 & @ianuragthakur / @IndiaSports should take a call before it’s too late. 2022 only shooting omitted & 2026 …… They are targeting Event where India is doing great … @KirenRijiju, “she tweeted.
Bajrang Punia, who won a gold medal at the CWG 2018 in Gold Coast, believes that this decision by the Commonwealth Games Federation is not right as wrestling is the oldest sport in the Games.
“The Federation will decide, but the decision which has been taken is wrong to keep wrestling, shooting and archery out. Wrestling is our oldest sport in the Games and keeping it out is not right. But it is not in the hands of our Wrestling Federation but yes they can request and as players, we can also request saying that it is wrong. It is only in the hands of CWG Federation, “Bajrang Punia was quoted as saying by ANI.
Double trap shooter Ronjan Singh Sodhi, who has won two silver medals at CWG and has gold medals at World Cups and the Asian Games, has come down hard on European countries.
“European countries don’t stand a chance with India. I think it was done on purpose because we won each and every medal in the Commonwealth. Mostly gold, sometimes gold, silver is also being us, so this is a very wrong move within the sport of shooting that if it is in the Olympics then why not in CWG, “Sodhi told ANI.
Although the Federations can submit a bid for inclusion of the three sports, it remains to be seen if the Commonwealth Games organizers will pay heed to them.
Also read: International Biathlon Union suspends Russia, Belarus