India should withdraw from the Commonwealth Games due to the “low level of competition” in the tournament, the president of the country’s Olympic body said on Wednesday.
Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra’s comments come after they to boycott the next edition of the multi-sport event in Birmingham in 2022 over shooting being scrapped from the programme.
“I don’t use the word boycott in sports. What I am trying to say is that India as a country, in sports, should withdraw out of Commonwealth totally,” Batra was quoted as saying.
He said regardless of whether shooting is included in the final programme, India should end its association with the competition played among mostly former British colonies. “I feel there is not sufficient level of competition, leaving aside two or three sports. It doesn’t leave anyone anywhere with this low level of competition,” Batra added.
“These games have no standard. For me, these are a waste of time and money. We win 70 medals, 100 medals at the Commonwealth Games while at the Olympics, we get stuck at two [medals at the Rio Olympics],” Batra was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
He added: “That means the level of competition isn’t high at CWG. It’s not a ranking tournament either. So why waste time? We should rather go to better competitions and prepare for the Olympics.”
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.
Batra said he was open to talks with Commonwealth Games officials on including shooting. Batra reiterated India’s interest in bidding for the 2032 Olympics and 2026 Youth Olympics.
“We are serious about the 2032 Olympics and 2026 Youth Olympics but then you have to follow a process,” said Batra. “And to get these events into India you need to win in the Olympics.”
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