India’s Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has urged his British counterpart Nicky Morgan to have shooting included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Birmingham organising committee has dropped shooting from the programme because of no suitable space, prompting a threat from the Indian Olympic Association to boycott the Games.
In a letter on Tuesday, Rijiju asked Morgan, secretary of state for sport, to intervene and bring back a sport that has been part of the Commonwealth Games since 1974.
“It seems the decision to exclude shooting is based on the premise that shooting had never been a compulsory sport and there is no venue available for holding shooting events,” Rijiju wrote to Morgan.
“The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting. In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost for inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG.”
India topped the table for shooting at last year’s edition in Australia, taking home 16 medals including seven gold for a total tally of 66 medals – the third-best performing nation in the games overall.
Rijiju noted that India makes up more than half of 2.4-billion-strong population of the 53-nation Commonwealth.