Apart from participating in the 2022 edition, the Indian body will bid to host the 2026 or the 2030 CWG along with the Youth Olympics in 2026.
Months after stating that India would boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) after shooting was stripped off the list of disciplines in the event, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has now announced that it will not only participate in the 2022 Games but will also bid to host either its 2026 or 2030 edition.
In the Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi, the IOA has also decided to submit their willingness to host the Commonwealth Shooting Championships three months ahead of the CWG, an idea proposed by both the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the international body, ISSF.
“In the AGM, we have taken back the decision to withdraw from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Our country’s contingent will go for the 2022 CWG,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told a press conference after the AGM. The bidding process for the same is expected to begin in the new year.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), too, welcomed India’s decision to send its athletes for the 2022 Games. “The CGF and the entire Commonwealth Sport Movement are delighted India has confirmed their intent to participate at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games during their Annual General Meeting in New Delhi,” the CGF president Dame Louise Martin said in a statement.
“Following a useful and constructive CGF visit to India in November, we felt confident and reassured that the athletes and sports community of India places huge value and importance on the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Sport Movement.
“Our visit and collaboration have significantly strengthened our partnership with the Indian Commonwealth Games Association, under the leadership of President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, and we are continuing to work closely.”
The IOA’s wishlist, however, doesn’t end there. If things are to go as per plan, India might end up hosting as many as five multi-discipline big-ticket events in the coming decade or so. This list includes the 2023 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress; the 2026 Youth Olympics; the 2026 or 2030 CWG; the 2030 Asian Games; and the biggest of them all, the 2032 Olympics.
Explaining IOA’s decision, president Narinder Batra said: “The first preference is the Youth Olympics for sure. If we get to host the CWG as well, we will do both. If we get to host only the CWG in 2026, then we can't bid for back-to-back CWG. Then, for 2030, we will bid for the Asiad. We will also bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics. The House passed a resolution regarding this.”