NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – India will host the shooting and archery championships, which had originally been left out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, six months before the main multi-sport competition takes place in Birmingham, it was announced on Monday.
The medals won in the events to be staged in Chandigarh at the start of 2022 will count in the final tally of the Birmingham Games, which take place in July and August later in the year, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had initially threatened to boycott the Birmingham Games over the exclusion of shooting, which is an optional sport for host cities.
They withdrew the threat in December and offered to host separate championships for archery and shooting, both of which had been omitted from the Birmingham schedule.
The CGF executive board approved India’s “innovative” idea after a three-day meeting in London.
“I am delighted that we have approved India’s ambitious proposal to host a Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships in Chandigarh during 2022,” CGF president Louise Martin said in a statement.
A week after the closing ceremony of the 2022 Games in August, the CGF will issue a medal table combining results from Chandigarh and Birmingham to determine the final rankings, CGF said.
India finished third in the 2018 medals table but in the absence of shooting, could have slipped to between fifth and eighth place in 2022, according to IOA estimates.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), which led the protest against shooting’s exclusion, came up with the idea of a separate Commonwealth championship.
NRAI president Raninder Singh said the “game-changing” decision would pave way for “cost-effective” Games and encourage infrastructure sharing between Commonwealth members.
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