Singapore shooting body happy for sport to be reinstated for 2022 Commonwealth Games

Singapore’s Ho Xiu Yi in action at the 2019 SEA Games. PHOTO: SNOC

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) has welcomed the likely reinstatement of the sport for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, while also noting the potential venue of India is a favourable one for the Republic's shooters.

SSA high performance manager Jeanine Heng told The Straits Times on Tuesday (Jan 7): "We are not fussed about the location because we are used to the shooting events being held far from the main group during major Games.

"And India is somewhere we traditionally do well in, having won five gold medals there at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and earned two Olympics spots in the qualifiers there in 2016."

Shooting had been excluded from the 2022 Games in Birmingham which led to India - 63 of the country's 181 Games golds since 1966 have come from shooting - warning of a boycott.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) eventually withdrew the threat and has instead written to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and offered to host a pre-Games shooting and archery competition.

The cost of this could be as much as £20 million (S$35.5 million), reported the BBC.

Shooting has also proven to be a gold mine for Singapore in recent years. Since On Shaw Ming won the men's 25m centre fire pistol event in 2006, the Republic has captured a further nine golds.

Shooting's 10 titles accounts for more than a quarter of Singapore's overall haul of 37 golds at the quadrennial Games.

National shooter Martina Veloso, who won two golds at the 2018 Games, said: "For me personally, it doesn't matter where it will be held. I'm happy as long as shooting is counted as a medal event and we can try to help achieve more sporting glory for Singapore.

"We go to Delhi quite often as we have a World Cup stop there almost every year, so we are familiar with India. If there is a chance for us to help Singapore win some medals, then why not?"

Aside from the 1970 edition, shooting has featured at every Commonwealth Games since 1966.

Birmingham in 2018 dropped it from its list though, explaining it did not have suitable facilities and was unwilling to use the Bisley National Shooting Centre, located 200km away and the competition venue when the Games was held in Manchester in 2002.

The IOA's proposal has received backing from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) which said on Sunday (Jan 5) it will guarantee full compliance with the rules and regulations and provide all the necessary technical support.

If India's proposal is accepted, it will be the first time the Commonwealth Games is held across two countries, though this is not unprecedented in other major Games.

The 1956 Olympics was officially hosted by Melbourne, but due to Australia's quarantine regulations, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden. The 1920 Summer Games was held in Antwerp, Belgium, while two sailing events were held in nearby Amsterdam.

CGF chief executive David Grevemberg confirmed on Monday (Jan 6) the organisation had received the IOA's recommendation and a decision is expected next month.

He added: "Key aspects of this assessment will be to ensure that the proposal conforms with our rules and regulations, is operationally deliverable, sets manageable precedents for the Commonwealth Games and ultimately adds value to athletes and the Commonwealth Sports Movement."

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