Birmingham: A sporting compromise to host shooting and archery championships in India five months before the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is likely to give India and Australia an eventual boost in the overall medal standings.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) accepted India's proposal to host, organize and fund the archery and shooting competitions at Chandigarh in January 2022 after those sports were cut from the program for the Birmingham Games, which start 27 July 2022. The medals from those events will be added to the overall tally a week after the games close in Birmingham.
The CGF executive board approved the proposal, supported by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the government of India and the world governing bodies for archery and shooting, at a meeting in London on the weekend.
"I am delighted that we have approved India's ambitious proposal," CGF president Louise Martin said in a statement. "Commonwealth archery and shooting athletes now have an unprecedented opportunity to compete in an elite event that will showcase the very best of Commonwealth sport and add value to the Commonwealth sports movement."
India, which traditionally has a good record in shooting, initially threatened to boycott the Birmingham Games after the sport was excluded from the program but confirmed its intention to participate following a meeting with the CGF late last year.
NRAI president Raninder Singh said the decision to add the shooting and archery medals to the games medal standings was groundbreaking.
"This is a path-breaking and innovative ... unique and unprecedented development, that augers so well for the future of the Commonwealth sporting movement," Raninder was quoted as saying by PTI. "This is truly a game-changing methodology for hosting a prestigious multi-sport event."
India won 16 shooting medals, including seven gold, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast. Australia picked up nine medals, including three gold, to place second in the shooting standings.
"Shooting has a long and proud history within the Commonwealth sports movement and the decision by the CGF is warmly welcomed by Shooting Australia and the wider target sports shooting community," Shooting Australia president Cath Fettell said.
The Commonwealth Games, formerly known as the Empire Games, are held every four years and involve mostly countries and territories with colonial ties to Britain.