Anurag Thakur asks IOA details over shooting, wrestling omission from 2026 CWG

Sports minister has sought details like who attended the meeting where the Commonwealth Games Federation took the decision that will hurt Indian athletes
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur (HT Photo/File)
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur (HT Photo/File)
Published on Apr 26, 2022 12:06 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Union sports minister Anurag Thakur has directed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to provide details over shooting and wrestling, the country’s big medal events, being dropped from the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Thakur has asked the IOA to give information on who represented the apex sports body when such a decision impacting Indian sport was being taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

“The Sports Ministry would like to ask the IOA what was the reason that shooting and wrestling were not made a part of Commonwealth Games 2026 and who went to take part in the meeting when this decision was taken, in which situation this decision was taken,” Thakur was quoted as saying by ANI on the sidelines of the Khelo India University Games in Bengaluru.

“After getting all the details we will see what steps need to be taken to ensure that the interest of Indian players is not hampered,” he said.

The CGF recently announced the initial list of 16 sports for the 2026 Games to be held in multiple cities in the state of Victoria. It has omitted shooting, wrestling and archery. Shooting and wrestling have given India the bulk of their CWG medals. Though the organisers can have a re-look when the programme is finalised, it is unlikely that shooting will feature. The sport was also removed from the 2022 Birmingham CWG. It led to a furore with IOA even threatening a boycott. It was later proposed that shooting and archery could be held separately in India, but the plan was scrapped after it became clear any medals will not be added to the Games tally.

As per the 2026-2030 strategic roadmap announced by CGF, only athletics and swimming are proposed as compulsory sports, providing the hosts the flexibility to choose from a wider list of sports.

IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta has written to CGF president Louise Martin over the recent exclusions. “It is really shocking for CGA India to know that these three very popular sports in the sporting world were ignored by the CGF,” Mehta wrote in the letter. “The CGA India strongly recommends inclusion of shooting, wrestling and archery as part of 2026 CWG sports programme.”

Shooting is India’s strongest sport in CWG with 135 medals. Wrestling has fetched 102 medals for the country’s athletes.

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Friday, July 01, 2022