World Archery, the International Shooting Sport Federation and the UK and Indian governments support plans by the Indian Olympic Association to host archery and shooting events linked to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, according to media reports.
The IOA last week officially proposed hosting the events, which were last year dropped from the Birmingham 2022 competition schedule. India had previously threatened to withdraw from the games entirely because the sports were dropped. Last week, it dropped that threat and made the hosting proposal.
The Guardian newspaper reported that David Grevemberg, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said the proposal would be reviewed and discussed with the Birmingham 2022 organisers: “The proposal is supported by the National Rifle Association of India, the Government of India, the International Shooting Sport Federation and World Archery,” he said. “Key aspects of this assessment will be to ensure that the proposal conforms with our rules and regulations, is operationally deliverable, sets manageable precedents for the Commonwealth Games and ultimately adds value to athletes and the Commonwealth Sports Movement.”
The Guardian also reported that UK sports minister Nigel Adams is “encouraged by the proposals”, and that India would foot a £20m ($26m) bill to host the events. The newspaper said Adams had been working behind the scenes for months to keep India on board for the 2022 Games. He said recently: “I totally understand how passionate people are about shooting across the Commonwealth. We want India to be here, no question. I have already written to the Commonwealth Games Federation to see if we can accommodate shooting in some form.”
Shooting and archery are major sports in India, and the country has won numerous medals in them at previous Commonwealth Games.
Indian sports business news website InsideSport.co reported that World Archery, the sport’s world governing body, had written to IOA president Narinder Batra, saying: “World Archery is giving full support to this proposal to have an archery competition in India as part of Commonwealth Games friendship programme.
“We will work with the Indian government, IOA and you to finalise the details and the exact programme but would suggest adding the mixed team events which will also feature in Tokyo 2020.”
In its proposal to host the events, the IOA has suggested that medals won in them should count towards competing countries’ official medal tallies for Birmingham 2022. This position has also been backed by the ISSF.