Making sense of India’s absurd bid to host separate Commonwealth shooting c’ships during CWG 2022February 6, 2020
The Indian shooting fraternity and the Indian Olympic Association officials are perhaps rejoicing at the endorsement provided by Britain’s House of Lords to their proposal of hosting shooting and archery in India as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This was after the Birmingham organising committee for CWG 2022 did not include the two disciplines in their official program.
Ever since it was clear that the Birmingham organising committee was reluctant to add shooting to the Games roster, the National Rifle Association of India and International Shooting Sports Federation had been trying to convince them to host the event in Bisley in Surrey, which also hosted the shooting events in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. They even proposed to bear the cost of hosting the event and argued that the venue was closer to Birmingham than the Velodrome on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, where track cycling will take place.
But once those options fell on deaf ears, the IOA threatened to boycott the Games if shooting wasn’t included. It’s another matter that they withdrew the threat soon after and needed little coaxing.
There is no doubt that shooting has been one of the most regular sports discipline in Commonwealth Games since 1966 with only the 1970 Games in Scotland giving it a miss. India’s desperation in having shooting in the Commonwealth Games is also understandable since the country’s shooters have topped the medal tally in that discipline in four of the last five editions.
But the way the Commonwealth Games are structured, shooting isn’t included in the 10 core sports that are mandatory in every edition and the blame has to fall on the world shooting body and to a large extend IOA for failing to get the sport nominated as a compulsory discipline.
Even NRAI president Raninder Singh has admitted the failure of the administrators but the solution he and IOA have suggested can lead to a bigger problem.
IOA has now proposed that India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery competitions during the same period and has requested the CGF to consider the medals won in the two events be added to the overall medals tally. The CGF is expected to take a final decision on the same during their executive board on February 20 and 21 with full 71 members voting.