Bangladesh on Thursday joined India in appealing to the British government to intervene to have shooting included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Birmingham organising committee dropped shooting because of a lack of suitable venue, prompting a boycott threat from the Indian Olympic Association.
Zahid Ahsan Russel, Bangladesh’s sports minister, this week wrote to Tariq Ahmad, British Commonwealth minister, saying that the Games “should include shooting for the sake of its historical image and goodwill”.
“Shooting is a popular sport in Bangladesh. Also, shooting sport has been gaining its popularity gradually over the globe,” he said.
Bangladesh’s only two medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018 were in shooting, as were all its eight medals in the history of the event.
“Shooting presents our only realistic chance to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games,” said Enthekhabul Hamid, secretary general of Bangladesh Shooting Sports Federation.
Earlier this month India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju wrote a similar letter to British sports secretary Nicky Morgan.
Indian shooters won 16 of their 66 medals, including seven golds, in shooting in Australia.
Shooting featured in every Commonwealth Games since 1966, except Edinburgh in 1970.
“It’s really disappointing. But I believe they will not to drop shooting,” said Bangladesh’s top shooter Abdullah Hel Baki, who won a silver in each of the past two Commonwealth Games.