Providing some relief to the Indian shooting fraternity, Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) CEO Katie Sadleir on Thursday expressed optimism about reintegrating the sport into its programme before the 2026 edition in Victoria. Shooting, along with wrestling, disciplines in which India normally win the bulk of its medals at the Games, didn't make it to the initial list of the 16 sports picked for the Games in the Australian state of Victoria.
However, hours before the 2022 Birmingham Games were to begin, Sadleir said the disciplines would come up for discussion in September, before the final list is announced. "We have recently announced an initial programme with 16 sports, with the definite ambition to grow that programme," Sadleir replied to a query by PTI in the pre-Games media conference.
"There currently is an expression of interest out there with the international federations that are currently not in the programme have been invited to put forward their proposals for considerations, and shooting is definitely on the case," she added. Shooting, which accounted for 16 of the 66 medals India bagged at the Gold Coast Games four years ago, was omitted from the ongoing Games at Birmingham, leading to a strong protest by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
There was more setback for India when the sport again did not find itself in the list of events for the 2026 Games along with wrestling where the nation had topped the medals tally in 2018. A former CWG medallist and an Olympian, Sadleir said there's a strong wave of interest for the two disciplines' inclusion.
"I know there's a significant amount of social media going on in Australia, plus the international federation, has made it clear that they are going to put forward a very strong case for consideration," the Scotland-born New Zealander said. "That will come to CGF consideration in September with the idea to have a final list of programmes to be announced by the end of the year. It's definitely not a decision-making point now, and we are working with the International Shooting Federation (ISSF) on what that may look like," she said.