New Delhi, Feb 26: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Wednesday (February 26) claimed that shooting getting back into the Commonwealth Games 2022 as a massive win for India and also a path-breaking move.
Indian shooting federation and Indian Olympic Association's hard work in the last few months finally bore fruits as the Commonwealth Games Federation allowed India to host the Commonwealth shooting and archery championships in January 2022. In July 2019, Birmingham had decided to drop shooting from CWG 2022 roster which triggered a sharp response from India which has big medal hopes from the sport.
The two events will be held in Chandigarh in January 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth Games is scheduled from July 27 to August 7, 2022. The medals from the two events will be counted for "ranking of competing nations" at the Birmingham Games.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh while addressing a press conference in New Delhi termed it a big boost for India.
"I don't believe in boycott but when we last met I said about it reluctantly to get our voices heard. However, our stand got a lot of focus overseas and that is how we designed our campaign to bring various stakeholders on board to draw their attention.
"Shooting was the fourth most popular sport in Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast. Our rankings in the medal tally would have been badly affected had shooting been removed from the CWG 2022 roster."
"We are thankful to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Mr Narinder Batra for putting up our stand strongly. We launched a three-pronged attack in the British parliament to get the attention of the commonwealth organising committee in the United Kingdom. We are also thankful to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for his constant help to our cause," Mr Singh added further.
The NRAI and IOA, in consonance with the Government of India, proposed to the CGF that if Birmingham games organising committee doesn't have the infrastructure to organise shooting there, then India will host it. Finally, after a lot of deliberation, everyone agreed to it.
NRAI termed the development as a path-breaking move as it will open the doors for several small countries to jointly-host such multi-sport event in the future.
"It is a path-breaking development because it will help the smaller Commonwealth nations to jointly-host the games in the future. Hosting any multi-sport event is very expensive. But this way, they will get a chance to divide the sports as per the available infrastructure and host it jointly," said Mr Singh.