1 Aug 2019

Commonwealth champ saddened with shooting dropped from Games

8:09 am on 1 August 2019

Former Commonwealth Games shooting champion Sally Johnston says the sport is very concerned about its international future after it was confirmed the event would not be part of the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

New Zealand shooter Sally Johnston.


The organisers of the Birmingham Games have defended their decision to exclude shooting from the programme, despite India threatening to boycott the event if the sport is not reinstated.

Johnston, a five-time games representative, says the move is the main reason she's decided to go into semi-retirement.

She says the Commonwealth Games was a driver and motivator to strive for.

"Without that there it just sort of takes away a bit of that motivation to really put in the dedicated time and hours and money and sacrifices and all the rest of it. You do sort of go 'how much do I want to do this?' when really there is so few pinnacle events now that we can strive for."

In a statement, Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid said the proposed location for shooting, at Bisley in Surrey, "offered little or no benefit to the West Midlands".

He said that an assessment process was "fair, logical and transparent" and that shooting was offered a chance to make a Birmingham-based proposal for just two of its four disciplines, but the compromise was rejected by the sport.

Commonwealth Games, Shooting.


India and the Commonwealth Games Federation are now set to hold talks in a bid to resolve the crisis.

Johnston, who won gold in 50m rifle prone in Glasgow in 2014, says unfortunately the indications are that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will also drop shooting.

"Once it's out there's almost a permission for others to keep it out, so there is a bit of concern that maybe this is the beginning of the end and it won't make a reappearance at the Commonwealth Games and I think that's quite a sobering thought for a lot of shooters."

Shooting has been included in every games apart from one since 1966, but is not one of the event's 'core sports'.

Shooting is New Zealand's fourth most successful sport at Empire or Commonwealth Games with 52 medals including 15 golds.