CWG 2026: Shooting to return to Victoria Commonwealth Games, India’s dominating wrestling out

Melbourne. Shooting will return to the list for the 2026 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Victoria, Australia, while wrestling will be a disappointment for India. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Commonwealth Games Australia on Wednesday announced the full sports program for the Victoria 2026 CWG, comprising 20 sports and 26 events. Of this, nine are exclusively for para sports. The return of shooting in these sports is a welcome step for India, while the withdrawal of wrestling is disappointing. Shooting was omitted from the list of previous Games held in Birmingham.

Shooting has been India’s strongest sport in the Commonwealth Games so far with 135 medals (63 gold, 44 silver and 28 bronze). Wrestling ranks third in the list with 114 (49 gold, 39 silver and 26 bronze) medals. India had won 16 medals (seven gold, four silver and five bronze) in shooting in the 2018 Gold Coast season, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the country’s total of 66 medals.

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The inclusion of para-shooting in CWG 2026 will also add to India’s medal tally. But the absence of wrestling will hurt the team. India won the maximum number of 12 (six gold, one silver, five bronze) medals in wrestling at the Birmingham Games. This game has been included in four consecutive games since 2010. On the other hand, archery has been part of the Commonwealth Games only twice. It became part of these Games in 1982 and 2010 and India is second in archery in the all-time medal table of these Games.

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had written to the CGF in April this year to include shooting, wrestling and archery in the 2026 CWG. He called the decision to remove these three from the initial list of sports as ‘shocking’. Golf, 3×3 basketball, 3×3 wheelchair basketball, coastal rowing, shooting, para shooting, BMX racing, mountain bike cross country, track cycling and track para cycling have been added to the list. Coastal rowing, golf and BMX will be part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

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According to a media release issued by the CGF, ‘Victoria 2026 is also proposing to add para events to golf, coastal rowing and road race. He will work with the Commonwealth Games Federation and relevant international sports federations regarding the association of this Games. CGF President Lewis Martin said, ‘The Games are set to be competitive and full of adventure, including a fully integrated para sports programme. The debut of coastal rowing, golf and BMX and the return of shooting and 3×3 basketball will make it exciting.

The upcoming Commonwealth Games will be held from March 17 to 29 (2026) in several cities and regional centers including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland in the state of Victoria, Australia. Its opening ceremony will be held at the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Tags: Australia, Commonwealth Games, wrestling

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