Shooting makes comeback in India

By Michael Uugwanga 

THE Namibian Pistol Association (NPA) has expressed its satisfaction with the inclusion of shooting and archery at the 2022 Commonwealth Games set to take place in Chandigarh, India. 
The proposal to include shooting and archery was put forward by India, who threatened to boycott the Birmingham Games 2022 after shooting and archery was excluded from future Games. In 2018 the Commonwealth Games leaders decided not to include shooting and archery at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 
Shooting and archery will only be held in Chandigarh 2022 Games but not at the Birmingham 2022 Games as they will be separately organised and funded, but medals at Chandigarh will count towards the overall competition in Birmingham. 
“Namibia is glad that shooting is back at the Commonwealth Games. Namibia has won medals at those games before in shooting and for the athletes it is a very important competition, not only to be recognised but also to compete in a very advanced competition,” said NPA spokesperson Michael Jaeger in an interview with Confidente Sport Desk. 
In a press release issued early this year, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) executive board approved the proposal at their meeting in London which took place in February; and highlighted the opportunity for this innovative model to promote and encourage the development and hosting of sport throughout the Commonwealth. 
“The decision confirmed that Chandigarh 2022 and Birmingham 2022 will be two separately organised and funded Commonwealth Sport events. One week following the closing ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the CGF shall issue a medal table that includes results from the Chandigarh 2022 Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships, as a further and final legitimate ranking of competing nations and territories from the respective competitions. Commonwealth archery and shooting athletes now have an unprecedented opportunity to compete in an elite event that will showcase the very best of Commonwealth sport and add value to the Commonwealth sports movement”. 
 Last year it was reported that Birmingham 2022 announced that the sport of shooting – along with archery – had been left out of the programme, as they are both optional sports for host cities. 
Said Jaeger, “Yes, Namibia is aiming to send shooters to the Commonwealth Games for the clay disciplines and the pistol disciplines. However, with both disciplines it is very difficult to give you names at this stage as Namibia does have a lot of brilliant sport shooters and therefore the selection needs to be adhered to for each code concerning practice sessions; trials and especially minimum qualifying criteria.  
“The top shooters currently for clay are Hendrik Roos; Francois Jooste; Johan Venter and Ian Kriel. For pistol they are Andre Malherbe (previous medallist at the Commonwealth Games); Michael Schoeman and Michael Jaeger”.