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Shooting sport returns in 2026 Commonwealth Games as wrestling misses out; women's cricket stays

Victoria (Australia), Oct 5 (IANS) Shooting and para-shooting will make a return to the Commonwealth Games when the event is held in Victoria in 2026, even as wrestling — another sport where India have dominated the quadrennial games — will not be part of the curriculum less than four years from now.

In what looks like a mixed bag for Indian sports, shooting, which has been India’s highest medal-grosser in the last several editions of the CWG, will return to the fold after being removed from the 2022 Birmingham edition, while wrestling, in which India are the traditional powerhouse in CWG, has got a short shrift.

Women’s T20 cricket, after making its debut in 2022 Birmingham, will continue to be a part of the 2026 curriculum of the quadrennial games.

The Victoria 2026 organisers on Wednesday confirmed the sports programme with two new sports and two new sport disciplines making their CWG debut. A total of 22 sports, including nine fully-integrated para-sports will be part of the curriculum in 2026.

Golf, 3×3 Basketball, 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball, Coastal Rowing, Shooting, Para-shooting, BMX Racing, Mountain Bike Cross Country, Track Cycling and Para-track cycling have been added to the already impressive sports line-up, while Coastal Rowing, Golf, and BMX will make a Commonwealth Games debut.

Victoria 2026 has also proposed to add in Para-sport disciplines in Golf, Coastal Rowing and the Road Race and will work with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and other international sporting federations to determine the viability of including them.

Shepparton will host a suite of cycling events — staging both men’s and women’s time trials for the road race, as well as the BMX Racing competition, with the full programme of event locations to be announced in the coming weeks, according to a statement by Commonwealth Games Australia.

More than 100 athletes will be competing alongside hundreds of support staff, coaches and event organisers across the action-packed BMX racing competition.

It is estimated the Games will contribute more than AUD3 billion to Victoria’s economy, creating more than 600 full-time equivalent jobs before the Games, 3,900 jobs during the Games and a further 3,000 jobs beyond the closing ceremony, said the statement.

“Commonwealth Games Australia is delighted with the inclusion of the new sports and disciplines for Victoria 2026 to take the Games into an exciting new era,” Commonwealth Games Australia president Ben Houston said.

“This is set to inspire a whole new wave athletes to realise their dream over the next four years. CGA can’t wait to welcome the athletes who will represent Australia in pursuit of glory in 2026.”

Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin celebrated the announcement and the addition of new sports to the Commonwealth Sport Movement.

“We are thrilled to confirm the Sport Programme for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the additional sports proposed by Victoria 2026 completing an exciting and diverse line-up,” Martin said.

“The Games are set to be competitive and action-packed, featuring an extensive, fully integrated Para-sport Program, the debuts of Coastal Rowing, Golf and BMX, the return of Shooting and the scintillating 3×3 Basketball.

“The Programme is rooted in the CGF’s 2026-30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides hosts with greater flexibility to propose new sports, especially ones with specific local relevance that will enhance cultural showcasing and increase community engagement.”

“Victoria 2026 will deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games for all Victorians and showcasing all our state has to offer,” Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan said.

“The Games will deliver a blend of contemporary, traditional and Para sports, promoting diversity and inclusion,” Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy Shaun Leane said.

Victoria 2026 Sport Programme: Athletics & Para-athletics, Badminton, 3×3 Basketball, 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball, Boxing, Beach Volleyball, Coastal Rowing, Cricket T20 (Women’s), Cycling (BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, Track & Para-track), Diving, Golf, Gymnastics (Artistic), Hockey, Lawn Bowls & Para-lawn bowls, Netball, Para-powerlifting, Rugby 7s, Shooting & Para-shooting, Squash, Swimming & Para-swimming, Table Tennis & Para-table tennis, Triathlon & Para-triathlon, Weightlifting.

–IANS

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