Millennium Post

Shooting should get permanent status in CWG, says Heena Sidhu

New Delhi: Shooting "can die soon" if it is excluded from global events, pistol ace Heena Sidhu said on Monday, in the wake of the Indian Olympic Association's proposal to boycott the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games for dropping the sport from its roster.

In an unprecedented move, the IOA on Saturday proposed boycotting the Games while seeking the government's approval through a letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

Thanking the IOA for its strong stance, Heena said, "It means a lot to us. It shows that IOA is standing behind us strongly.

"I am no one to judge what is happening at the other level but if we actually boycott the Commonwealth Games, then it is quite unfair for other sports. If I was one of the athletes who was not a shooter, I would feel bad and dejected. Why make other people suffer for shooting's loss?"

The former World Cup Final gold medallist called for shooting, which remains an optional sport in the Commonwealth Games, to be given permanent status in the multi-sport event.

"What I do believe is that we should work hard to get shooting back into the Commonwealth Games and get together behind it. That can only come through negotiations and talks but I am sure IOA is having these talks since a long time.

"I cannot really say if I support the move or not since boycott is a strong word, but I do totally appreciate IOA's stand of backing us strongly," she said. India have won the bulk of their CWG medals in shooting in the last two decades, and barring the blip at the Rio Olympics, the country has been doing exceedingly well in the sport.

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