By Abhishek Upadhyay
New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Friday announced that shooting will not be a part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The decision came as a big blow to India as the country had won 16 medals from shooting at Gold Coast 2018 and seven out of the 26 Gold medals came from the sport.
Speaking to IANS, Anjum Moudgil -- who won silver at in the 50m Air Rifle 3 Positions event in Gold Coast -- said that the decision is a big blow for shooters as the Commonwealth Games is always a big event for them.
"This issue has been going on for quite some time. It is not good because this is a very big event for Indian shooting. We have no choice but to go with (the CGF's) decision. The NRAI (National Rifle Association of India) did whatever they could to prevent this but there is little one can do once the higher authorities have made their minds. They have their reasons which is why this decision has been made," she said.
Earlier, NRAI President Raninder Singh had said that India should boycott Birmingham 2022 if shooting gets excluded. The association's secretary Rajiv Bhatia told IANS that if a decision such as that can only be taken by the government or the Indian Olympic Association.
Bhatia however admitted that the development comes as a huge blow for India's prospects at the CWG. He also said that the association did whatever it could but the organisers were reluctant to allocate finances for shooting.
"This is not just a blow for shooting but also for India. Shooting is a big reason why India always remains among the top countries in the medal tally," he said. "We tried a lot but the federation was not ready to listen to us. They told us that they don't want to spend more money on shooting. Finance was the only reason that they kept giving."