By Aaron Mathew Jaspal, Gagan displeased with CWG’s axe on shooting as it was India’s gold mine event. The shooting fraternity was taken aback when the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executve Committee voted out shooting from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The sport helped India garner enough medals to stay among top medal-winners at the Commonwealth Games. Yesterday, Indian Olympic Association secretary Rajeev Mehta not only expressed his displeasure over the axing of the sport from CWG, but also said India could rule out taking part in the 2022 CWG. “That cannot be ruled out. We can even go to that extent,” Mehta said. He added that the IOA will again write to the CGF in the coming days and request them to review the decision. Former India pistol shooter and one of country’s most decorated athlete, Jaspal Rana, felt it was a “clear political move to target India”. “We have maximum medals in shooting. They are clearly trying to reduce our medals’ tally. What else could be the reason? It’s obvious that someone’s playing politics and the authorities are getting by. Britain is one of the biggest arms manufactures in the world, how can they have a problem with the sport.” (From top left) ON TARGET: Some of the Commonwealth Games gold medallists Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswi Sawant, (r) Heena Sidhu, (above left) Anish Bhanwala and Gagan Narang Asked if the IOA should go ahead with boycotting the tournament, he strongly supported the idea. “Yes. Why not? It’s not fair to eliminate an event in which we came from nobodies to being the best in the world. I’ll be more than happy if the government or the IOA boycott CWG. If they take such a decision, the sportsmen will support them. If you want to beat us, beat us on the field not through such dirty politics. I saw at Manchester when the India flag use to go, they used to clearly be unhappy. You could see the uncomfort they were going through as our national anthem was played along with the flag in their country. We should learn from China who boycotted the Olympics but when they came back they came with a bang,” Rana told Mirror, who is also India’s junior shooting pistol coach. London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang expressed his disappointment at the decision. He said, “It is disappointing and disheartening that it has been excluded. We knew that there was a proposal but had also heard about the negotiations to keep it on. I value my CWG medals immensely and do hope for its return one day so that the Gen Next gets to cherish the same sense of pride and honour that we had.” Former sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had written last year to his British counterpart as well to the CGF President, urging them to ensure that shooting remains a part of the 2022 edition. Shooting’s exit will certainly be a big blow to India, who have had the most shooting medals since the 2002 Commonwealth Games. At Gold Coast 2018, 16 out of their 66 medals came from shooting and seven out of the 26 gold medals were from the sport.