Pistol ace Manu Bhaker on Monday said that the Indian team should consider boycotting the Commonwealth Games in protest against the dropping of shooting from the roster.
In a big jolt to India, shooting as well as wrestling and archery were dropped from the initial list of sports for 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Shooting, in which India has been doing well since the 2002 edition in Manchester, is also not going to be a part of the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Victoria in Australia has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 edition of the Games. "I think the Indian team should consider boycotting the Commonwealth Games to make a bold statement. Exclusion of shooting is not fair. It looks like we are being taken for granted," Bhaker told PTI.
"It is not fair. Shooting was dropped for the 2022 CWG too, but then, it was felt that it was a one off thing, but now it seems that is not the case," the Youth Olympics and CWG gold medallist added. The Games are scheduled to take place in March 2026 across multiple cities, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Gippsland. She said withdrawing from the CWG will send a strong signal.
Bhaker recently won three gold and two silver medals in ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. In the previous edition, Indian shooters won 16 medals. The Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly had approved in October last year a new 'strategic roadmap' under which athletics and swimming will be the only compulsory sports from the 2026 edition.