- Shooting has been the strongest sport for India till now
- India won 12 medals in Wrestling at the 2022 edition of CWG
- Coastal Rowing, Golf, and BMX will make a Commonwealth Games debut
In the 2026 edition of the Commonwealth Games which is scheduled in Victoria, Australia, shooting has been included in the roster. On the other hand, wrestling and archery been excluded.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Commonwealth Games Australia unveiled the full sports programme on Wednesday for the 2026 CWG. The multi-nation event in Australia will feature 20 sports and 26 disciplines, including nine fully integrated para-sports.
The return of shooting, which was controversially dropped from the Birmingham CWG earlier this year, is a welcome development for India.
Shooting has been India’s strongest sport in the Commonwealth Games with 135 medals (63 gold, 44 silver, and 28 bronze) till now. When it comes to Wrestling, it is in the third spot with 114 (49 gold, 39 silver, and 26 bronze) medals.
But the absence of wrestling which yielded the most number of medals, 12 (6 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze) at the Birmingham Games is a big loss. The sport has been dropped after featuring in four successive Games since 2010.
Following is the list of medals bagged by Indian athletes in the Commonwealth Games 2022:
Gold Medal Winners -
- Bajrang Punia
- Deepak Punia
- Sakshi Malik
- Ravi Dahiya
- Vinesh Phogat
- Naveen Sihag
Silver Medal Winners -
- Anshu Malik
Bronze Medal Winners -
- Divya Kakran
- Mohit Grewal
- Pooja Gehlot
- Pooja Sihag
- Deepak Nehra
In the 2018 Gold Coast edition, Indian shooters won 16 medals - 25 per cent of the country's total medals of 66 with 7 gold, 4 silver, and 5 bronze.
The addition of para-shooting in the 2026 Games will also add to India's medal tally.
Archery, on the other hand, has featured only twice in the CWG -- in 1982 and 2010 and India stands second in the all-time medal tally for the sport.
The 2026 edition will not have full bore shooting events and will be competed in pistol, rifle, and shotgun disciplines. This development will, however, have no impact on the medal prospects of the Indian shooters as they are not traditionally strong at full-bore events.
"The shooting programme will include air pistol, air rifle, shooting para-sport and shotgun trap. However, full bore are not included," according to an Australian shooting official.
"It is better for shooting to be on the programme in a reduced way than not at all."
The shooting programme in the 2018 Gold Coast CWG had disciplines on full bore, pistol, rifle, and shotgun.
In April, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had written to the CGF to include shooting, wrestling, and archery in the 2026 CWG, describing their dropping from the initial list of sports as "shocking".
"Victoria 2026 is also proposing to add in Para disciplines in Golf, Coastal Rowing, and the Road Race and will work with the Commonwealth Games Federation and relevant international sporting federations to determine if this is possible," a CGF media release read.
It is estimated the Games will contribute more than USD 3 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.
CGF President Louise Martin said, “The Games are set to be competitive and action-packed, featuring an extensive, fully integrated Para Sports Program, the debuts of Coastal Rowing, Golf and BMX, the return of Shooting and the scintillating 3x3 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.”
The 2026 CWG will be staged from March 17-29 in the Australian state of Victoria across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Gippsland. The Opening Ceremony will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Following are India’s top five CWG campaigns:
- 2010, New Delhi - 101 medals
- 2002, Manchester - 69 medals
- 2018, Gold Coast - 66 medals
- 2014, Glasgow - 64 medals
- 2022, Birmingham - 61 medals
(Inputs from PTI)