'It is not right', Bajrung Punia upset with wrestling being dropped from Commonwealth Games 2026
Archery, Shooting and Wrestling have been sidelined by the sporting discilpines of Commonwealth Games 2026
India's Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia who won a gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast believes that the decision of the Commonwealth Games Federation is not right as wrestling is the oldest sport. India will suffer a huge blow as sporting disciplines like archery, shooting and wrestling have been dropped from its initial sports programme list for Commonwealth Games 2026 which will be played in Victoria in Australia.
"The Federation of Commonwealth Games will decide but the decision is which has been taken is wrong to keep wrestling, shooting and archery out. Wrestling is our oldest sport in the Games and keeping it out is not right. But it is not in the hands of our Wrestling Federation but yes they can request and as players, we can also request saying that it is wrong. It is only in the hands of CWG Federation," said Punia while speaking to ANI.
In 2018, India clinched a total of 16 medals in shooting including seven gold, four silver and five bronze. In the wrestling department India won 12 medals which includes five gold, three silver and four bronze.
Khel Ratna award-winning double trap shooter Ronjan Singh Sodhi who has won two silver medals in Commonwealth Games and has won gold medals at World Cups and Asian Games came down hard on European countries.
"European countries don't stand a chance with India. I think it is done on purpose because we win each and every medal in Commonwealth. Mostly gold, sometimes gold, silver is also being us so this is a very wrong move within the sport of shooting that if it is in Olympics then why not in Commonwealth Games," Sodhi told ANI.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 which is supposed to start in July also does not have shooting as a part of their sporting discipline. "The Brits said that could not make a range because they say it is too expensive. A country like England can`t make a range is that what we have come today," said Ronjan Singh Sodhi.
Haryana Cabinet Minister Anil Vij has also called this decision as unfortunate as Haryana has a rich legacy of producing the country's top wrestlers."It is unfortunate that Haryana's pride wrestling and archery are not a part of Commonwealth Games 2026. Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee should rethink their decision," tweeted Vij.
The disciplines that the Commonwealth Games organising committee has included in the initial list are aquatics, athletics, badminton, boxing, beach volleyball, T20 cricket, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting. However, the organisers have clarified that they will add a few more disciplines later this year which means India's archery, shooting and wrestling Federations can request them to include them in the Games.
With ANI inputs