Commonwealth Games 2022: India asks British government to intervene over shooting exclusion

Indian shooter Sanjeev Rajput
Sanjeev Rajput won a gold medal for India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

India's Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has asked the British government to intervene over the removal of shooting from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

India won seven gold medals in the sport at the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.

But it has been excluded from the Games for the first time since 1970.

In a letter to Nicky Morgan, he wrote: "The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting."

His correspondence with the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also noted that India makes up more than half of 2.4 billion population of the 53-nation Commonwealth.

While he added that "the International Shooting Federation [ISSF] has offered to share the cost for inclusion of shooting in Birmingham.

"It seems the decision to exclude shooting is based on the premise that shooting had never been a compulsory sport and there is no venue available for holding shooting events."

Shooting has been included in every Games apart from one since 1966 (Edinburgh in 1970), but is not one of the event's 'core sports'.

Last year, shooting - along with archery, beach volleyball, cricket and Para-table tennis - expressed its wish to be part of the Games.

An assessment panel comprised of representatives from local and national government, as well as Birmingham 2022's organising committee and Commonwealth England, was set up to assess each sport's case.

But in June, Birmingham 2022 announced that only beach volleyball, Para-table tennis and women's cricket had been successful.

The move has proved highly controversial, with India threatening to boycott the event if the sport is not reinstated.

India topped the table for shooting at the 2018 Games in Australia, claiming 16 medals in the discipline as part of their overall tally of 66 medals.