The sport of shooting, excluded from the Commonwealth Games 2022, also didn’t make it to the initial list of the 16 disciplines finalised for the 2026 edition in the Australian state of Victoria.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), however, maintains it is still open to further addition of events. That would provide some relief to the Indian shooting fraternity, which has been highly successful in the Friendly Games over the years.
135 of India’s 503 medals at CWG have come from shooting. Pistol shooter Jaspal Rana still remains the most decorated Indian athlete at the quadrennial showpiece, with 15 medals across – including nine golds.
Katie Sadleir, chief executive officer of the CGF, addressing the media ahead of Thursday’s opening ceremony in Birmingham, said: “Currently there is an Expression of Interest (EOI) that’s out there, where the international federations that are currently not on the programme have been invited to put forward a proposal for consideration. Shooting is definitely on the case.
“And I know there’s a significant amount of social media that’s going on in Australia (sic). Plus, the international federation (ISSF) has made it very clear they are going to put forward a very strong case for consideration. It will come to the CGF for consideration in September with the idea that we’ll have the final program for 2026 announced by the end of the year.”
Anil Khanna, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and IOA treasurer Anandeshwar Panday met CGF president Dame Louise Martin on Tuesday during the CGF’s Annual General Meeting, asking for shooting and wrestling’s inclusion in the final list of sports. The IOA is additionally willing to make an official presentation to underline how the inclusion of the two sports “will increase the stature of the event as well as reinforce the ideals embodied by the two sports.”
India’s chief rifle coach Joydeep Karmakar is hopeful of a positive outcome. “It is a welcome thing… If it really happens, that is. We have been hearing about this (for some time) though. There is a first list though, and it only means there will be a second list. It is good that the ISSF, IOA and NRAI (National Rifle Association of India) are working on it. I am sure that the ISSF will have a say in this. By November, hopefully, we will have good news.”
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