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CWG 2026: Shooting included in Commonwealth Games roster, but wrestling and archery miss out

CWG 2018 medal-winning shooters Ravi Kumar Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant, Jitu Rai, Mehuli Ghosh, Heena Sidhu, Apurvi Chandela, Om Mitharval and Sanjeev¬†Rajput pose with their medals during a felicitation event by National Rifle Association of India. Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Shooting will return to the Commonwealth Games roster in the 2026 edition in Victoria, Australia, while wrestling has been dropped. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Commonwealth Games Australia on Wednesday unveiled the full sport programme for the Victoria 2026 CWG, featuring 20 sports and 26 disciplines, including nine fully integrated para sports (although para badminton remains excluded).

The return of shooting (and para-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. Wrestling is in third spot with 114 (49 gold, 39 silver and 26 bronze) medals.

In the 2018 Gold Coast edition, Indian shooters won 16 medals - roughly 25% of the country's total medals of 66 -- with 7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze.

However, wrestling yielded the most number of medals - 12 (6 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze) - roughly 20% of the 61 medals India won at the Birmingham Games. The sport has been dropped after featuring in four successive Games since 2010.

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.

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".

Golf, 3x3 Basketball, 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball, Coastal Rowing, Shooting, Shooting Para Sport, BMX Racing, Mountain Bike Cross Country, Track Cycling and Para Cycling Track have been added to roster, with Coastal Rowing, Golf, and BMX making their Commonwealth Games debut.

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.