The Indian Olympic Association, which won 16 shooting medals at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast last year, will decide next month whether to miss the event after it was confirmed that shooting would not be included for the first time since 1970.
The UK sports minister, Nigel Adams, said he was working on a compromise where a Commonwealth shooting competition would be staged in the UK in 2022 but would not be part of the actual programme. It could mean that pistol and clay pigeon shooting would be staged in Birmingham but rifle events would be held in Bisley, Surrey.
“I totally understand how passionate people are about shooting across the Commonwealth,” Adams said. “We want India to be here, no question. I have already written to the Commonwealth Federation to see if we can accommodate shooting in some form, maybe a Commonwealth shooting championships.
“It’s important that we do get a competition in 2022. It’s great for the economy. I understand the federation is still talking to the bodies and I am hopeful there can be an accommodation and a compromise made.”
Adams was speaking at an announcement at Edgbaston cricket ground that Birmingham 2022 will be the first major multisport event to feature more women’s medal events than men’s after women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis were added to the programme. It means there will be 135 medals available for women and 133 for men.
David Grevemberg, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, confirmed that he would speak to India to try to ensure the Games’ largest country would turn up for the £778m event. “India is a critical member of the Commonwealth, we want Indian athletes to participate, and there is a strong Indian community in Birmingham which wants to celebrate these athletes,” he said.