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India threatens Commonwealth Games pull-out over shooting, archery exclusions

Indian Olympic Association secretary-general Rajeev Mehta has warned that the exclusion of shooting and recurve archery from the Commonwealth Games 2022 programme could lead to India pulling out of the event.

Mehta told the Times Of India: “Yes, we are pretty serious about it (the threat to boycott the Games). India will suffer big time by this decision. Shooting has been our biggest source of medals at the CWG. The sport has a rich history and legacy. Yes, we know a decision has been taken and it would be difficult to reverse it. But still, it must be ratified by the Commonwealth Games Federation members who are meeting next month. Let’s see what happens.”

The CGF’s executive board has recommended dropping the two sports, while approving the inclusion of women’s T20 cricket, para table tennis and beach volleyball. These decisions are yet to be ratified by the required 51 per cent of the CGF’s 71 members, but this is considered a formality.

The Times of India reports that some athletes support a boycott. Heena Sidhu, an Indian shooter, said: “It’s going to be quite a bad scenario for India – our medal tally will be low without shooting. We should send a strong message to the CGF that India is no pushover.” Of India’s 66 medals at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, 16 were in shooting.

The IOA leadership will attend the International Olympic Committee’s Congress in Switzerland on June 24-26, and Mehta said the association will take a decision on the shooting issue after that.