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Dropping shooting from 2022 CWG huge setback for India: Bindra

Shooting - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol - Finals - Belmont Shooting Centre - Brisbane, Australia - April 13, 2018. Anish of India. REUTERS/Eddie Safarik - UP1EE4D0DOX4D

Mumbai :Dropping shooting from the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be a huge setback for India, especially for its young shooters, says Abhinav Bindra, the country’s only individual Olympic gold medallist.

“No doubt, it will be a huge setback for the country and our shooters. It will hit hard on the up-and-coming shooters,” said Bindra, on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony for India’s Olympic medallists by visiting International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.

“Shooting is an optional sport and they (Birmingham organisers) say they don’t have the facilities to host shooting events. Had Durban (South Africa) hosted the 2022 Commonwealth Games, shooting would have been there,” he added.

Durban was to originally host the 2022 Games but it later expressed its inability due to financial problems. The Commonwealth Games Federation later awarded the Games to Birmingham.

The Birmingham Organising Committee has decided to exclude shooting from the 2022 Games, citing logistical issues.

India won a bagful of shooting medals at the just-concluded Games in Gold Coast. The shooting squad bagged as many as 16 medals, seven of them gold.

Shooting, though an optional sport at the Commonwealth Games, was a discipline in every edition since Kingston 1966, except once in Edinburgh in 1970.