The Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CWF) decision to abandon shooting from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG) has been a big blow for India, which has swiftly emerged as a giant in the sport. Amidst the controversy, Indian ace shooter Heena Sidhu feels that India should have to be united against the CWF’s move.

“If they are throwing their weight, we can also throw our weight. But then again, it’s not fair as because of a few sportspersons, others will also suffer. But we have to be united, otherwise today it is happening with shooting, few years back there was also some problem with wrestling… Who is going to stand for the sportspersons if you are not standing for one sport? We definitely need to have a common front,” the 29-year-old shooter told media persons.

“They (CWF) are catering to their public, as in what their public would like to go and see on the venue or on television. Shooting still doesn’t attract much spectators, so that is why they have included cricket. Look, in 2010, we had such a very good crowd response here and people really liked the coverage. It was how youngster got encouraged. You can’t chop down a whole sport, that too an Olympic sport,” said Sidhu, a two-time CWG gold medallist.

On being asked the condition of backing out from the 2022 CWG, she said: “In the past, we have backed out from the games a couple of times. India being so big and given the number of Indian spectators, we can also throw our weight.”

Heena was bestowed with the Arjuna Award in 2014.