The Commonwealth Games Federation has decided to slash the number of participants in the Indian contingent for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In response to the decision, sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has written to the Federation to reconsider the decision.
The letter states that, “Government of India in consultation with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has examined critically the probability of winning medals in the XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 by Indian athletes. It has been observed that the country’s performance in various sports has improved remarkably and India has strong chances to win more medals compared to 2014.” It is to be noted that the size of the Indian contingent has been fixed at 135 athletes whereas it was of 223 in 2014. Citing the ‘large population of India and ‘medal winning prospects of the Indian side, Rathore has requested CGF president, Louise Martin, to enhance the contingent by 40 athletes.
The sports minister has also protested against the Federation’s proposal to remove shooting from the list of sports for the next Games in 2022. This is a move that will hurt India’s medal chances in a big way. India won 64 medals in 2014, 17 of which came in shooting.
The letter from the sports ministry also states, “It has been reported that CGF has proposed to remove the sport of shooting from the 2022 Games. I would request CGF to reconsider its decision in right earnest.”