Birmingham to drop shooting

Martina Veloso won two gold medals (10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone) to account for 40 per cent of Team Singapore's golds and emerge their top individual athlete at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Martina Veloso won two gold medals (10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone) to account for 40 per cent of Team Singapore's golds and emerge their top individual athlete at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. ST FILE PHOTO

ISSF to meet next week to discuss last-ditch attempt to reverse the organisers' decision

Team Singapore are set to lose a valuable source of medals at the Commonwealth Games, as shooting moved a step closer to being dropped from the Birmingham 2022 Games.

While shooting has been part of every Commonwealth Games since 1966 - except the 1970 Edinburgh edition - the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) met on Thursday and left the sport out of the 2022 programme, and approved the inclusion of women's cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis.

The final confirmation of the three new sports will depend on a vote by the CGF's 71 member associations, "with an announcement expected in the next six weeks", the BBC reported.

Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: "Our recommendation of adding women's cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis is the result of a thorough review and we believe these sports would help us to enhance the existing programme and reach new audiences, while showcasing the sports to our local community, spectators and fans across the world watching on TV."

The Republic have excelled at the shooting range at the Games - On Shaw Ming won Singapore's first gold in the sport at the quadrennial Games in 2006, and Team Singapore have won at least one gold in every edition since.

In 2010, they brought home a bumper haul of 14 medals - five golds, four silvers and five bronzes - from the 2010 Games in Delhi.

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  • Gold medals in shooting Singapore won at last year's Commonwealth Games, both by Martina Veloso.

At the last edition on the Gold Coast in Australia last year, Martina Veloso won two golds - in the 10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone - to account for 40 per cent of Team Singapore's gold medals.

She also emerged their top individual athlete.

Singapore Shooting Association president Michael Vaz, who is one of 15 council members of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), told The Straits Times that the global body will convene in Munich next week to discuss a last-ditch attempt to reverse the decision of the CGF.

"It is definitely disappointing," he said.

"We (Singapore) did very well at the last Commonwealth Games and we think we will do well in the next one as well.

"The number of athletes we have shooting world-class scores regularly now is much more than when I first became president (in 2013)."

The decision also prompted angry responses from traditional shooting nations such as India and England.

Indian Olympian Joydeep Karmakar slammed the decision as a "100 per cent political move", while British Shooting is "disappointed" at the decision, that its athletes will "feel let down".

• Additional reporting by Sazali Abdul Aziz

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Birmingham to drop shooting'. Print Edition | Subscribe