Indian Pistol star Manu Bhaker expressed that the Indian team should consider boycotting the Commonwealth Games in protest against the dropping of shooting from the roster of the sports selected for the tournament on Monday.
This will be a big shock to India as shooting along with sports like wrestling and archery weren’t part of the initial list of sports for the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia. The Indian contingent has performed well in shooting since the 2002 edition in Manchester. Similarly, the sport will not be a part of the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“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 for March 2026, where the event will be hosted across multiple cities, like Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Gippsland. She said exiting from the CWG will send a powerful message. Bhaker recently clinched three gold and two silver medals in ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany.
In the previous edition of the tournament, the Indian shooting contingent won 16 medals. The Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly had approved a new ‘strategic roadmap’ under which athletics and swimming will be the only compulsory sports from the 2026 CWG games in October 2021.
The Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly released a statement addressing the issue. The statement read, “As part of an ongoing consultation with International Federations, there are ambitions for a revised Sport Programme to provide hosts with more flexibility to choose from a wider list of core sports.”
“This will now include disciplines that have previously been listed as optional sports such as T20 cricket, beach volleyball and 3×3 basketball. This will allow hosts the ability to propose entirely new sports, relevant to their nation or culture, to enhance cultural showcasing and community engagement.”