Until the sun and the moon share equal dominion, the Indian Olympic Association boycott of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games over the exclusion of shooting, will provide strength to the players of the sport. The drawback is that the host country is likely to favour only those sports which catch spectators’ attention on the television set. However, the space has been created for women’s cricket and beach volleyball.
The contention is that if Indian shooters possess the ability to maintain their ranking on the upper level by gaining medals in this event, the removal of the sport indicates something fishy. The 29-year-old Indian shooter Heena Sidhu said if shooting is excluded from the Commonwealth Games, it will affect the Indian ranking in the competition.
India remained second in 2010 CWG ranking, with 30 medals for shooting. In 2018, we got 16 medals with the ranking of the third position. So, she feels if shooting is not added, we lose the chance of maintaining our high ranking. She exhorts the sports-loving people to extend support to the game of shooting with their own spirit of sportsmanship.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s sole gold medalist in the Olympics, had urged the IOA to work towards getting shooting included as a core sport in the Commonwealth Games.
The National Rifle Association is siding with IOA in snubbing the Commonwealth Games for not giving shooters a chance. In a shooting event, there are four sections: clay target, full bore, pistol and small bore.
The Indian Olympic Association chief Narendra Batra wrote to Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, urging him to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom for the exclusion of shooting, though Heena Sindhu finds the ‘boycott’ a strong word and Abhinav Bindra is also not in favour of the boycott.
The Commonwealth Games, which will begin from July 27, 2022, would exceed the Commonwealth Federation’s agreed limit for the number of athletes taking part in optional sports. India would send six team sports as opposed to the Commonwealth Games Federation’s current limit of four teams.