Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday has written a letter to the Commonwealth Games Federation and has asked for the inclusion of shooting, wrestling and archery in the quadrennial event to be held in 2026 in Victoria, Australia.
Earlier his month, Victoria was announced as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games with the Australian state’s regional centres organising the majority of events in a break from the traditional single host city model. An initial list of 16 sports, including T20 cricket, have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year.
“We have learned that the organisers have selected 16 sports to compete in the 2026 editon of the games but, Shooting, Wrestling, and Archery were dropped from the sports list. It is really shocking for CGA India to know these three very popular sports in the sporting-world were ifnored by the CGF,” the IOA wrote in the letter.
In the last CWG in Gold Coast (Australia) in 2018, shooting and wrestling had together accounted for 28 medals out of the country’s total tally of 66. Shooting gave 16 medals (7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze) while wrestling contributed 12 (5 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze).
— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) April 22, 2022
“The CGA India is very strongly recommend for inclusion of Shooting, Wrestling and Archery as part of the 2026 Commonwealth Games sports programme. Since the sports of 2026 games are organised in various cities so the host country could not have any reservation to conduct these three sports also,” it added.
If the Australian organisers want to exclude shooting, wrestling and archery from the Games, it will be difficult to reverse such a decision as the CGF 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.
The host cities have been given greater freedom to include disciplines of their choice from a proposed core list of 22 sports. The core list includes shooting, wrestling and archery, besides T20 cricket, beach volleyball and 3×3 basketball.
In 2019, the IOA had threatened to boycott the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games to be held from July 28 to August 8 this year after shooting’s exclusion from the programme.
The threat was withdrawn after the CGF agreed to stage a separate Commonwealth Shooting Championship (as well as Commonwealth Archery Championship) in India with the medals from the event to be counted in the final standings of the Birmingham Games.
The shooting (as well as archery) championship was to be held in Chandigarh in January this year but cancelled due to the “uncertainty” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.