Gun industry union urges Australia to consider boycotting 2022 CWG over shooting axe: ReportPTI | Melbourne | Updated: 13-08-2019 20:47 IST | Created: 13-08-2019 20:47 IST
A gun industry group in Australia has urged the country to join India in threatening to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games for dropping shooting from the roster in Birmingham. Shooting is an optional sport in the Commonwealth Games but has been part of every CWG since Kingston Games in 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970. But the sport has not been included as part of Birmingham 2022.
The Indian Olympic Association has threatened to boycott 2022 Birmingham CWG, protesting the dropping of shooting, a sport which has brought maximum medals (16) in the 2018 edition in Gold Coast in Australia. There are now calls in Australia to join India, though from a group representing gun industry.
Shooters Union Australia (SUA), a lobby group claiming to represent thousands of firearm owners and enthusiasts across the country, feels that Australia should stand with India in demanding the shooting events to be included in Birmingham. The SUA is affiliated to the National Rifle Association in the United States.
"Birmingham is the traditional home of the UK's sporting guns industry, so saying there are no suitable venues for the Games' shooting events is about as believable as saying there's nowhere to go swimming on the Gold Coast," SUA President Graham Park was quoted as saying by 'insidethegames.biz' website. "Australia should stand with India in demanding the shooting events be returned to the 2022 Commonwealth Games line-up, and be prepared to carry through with a boycott if they are not," he added.
"Australia is well-known for our sporting achievements on the world stage and arbitrarily denying our top shooters a potential spot on the podium not only tells these hard-working athletes 'the Government doesn't think your sport matters', it dramatically lowers our potential medal count and thus our national prestige." Australia won nine medals in shooting at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, including three golds, the second-highest total after India.