By Amlan Chakraborty
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's offer to host separate Commonwealth championships for shooting and archery, both absent in the 2022 Birmingham Games, will be considered by the Commonwealth Games Federation in the coming weeks, CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has offered to host, at New Delhi or Chandigarh, separate Commonwealth championships for these two disciplines months before the actual Games begins in Birmingham.
The groundbreaking proposal could pave the way for facility-sharing among member countries, said the IOA which had earlier threatened to boycott the Birmingham Games over the absence of shooting, which is an optional sport for host cities.
"The CGF can confirm that it has now officially received a proposal from Commonwealth Games India (CGI) to host a Commonwealth shooting event and potentially an archery event in India during 2022..." Grevemberg said in a CGF statement mailed to Reuters.
"The proposal will be reviewed and considered in January and February by the CGF and discussed with Birmingham 2022 Delivery Partners."
India has promised to bear the cost of these two events and wants the results to count towards the overall medal tally in Birmingham.
The proposal has been supported by the Indian government as well as the International Shooting Sport Federation and World Archery.
"Key aspects of this assessment will be to ensure that the proposal conforms with our rules and regulations, is operationally deliverable, sets manageable precedents for the Commonwealth Games and ultimately adds value to athletes and the Commonwealth Sports Movement," added Grevemberg.
Shooting supplied 16 of India's 66 medals, including seven golds, at the 2018 Gold Coast Games where the country finished third in the medals table.
In shooting's absence, India could slip to anywhere between fifth and eighth in Birmingham, according to IOA estimates.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Michael Perry)