The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is set to be the first major multi-sports event to have more women’s than men’s medal events after three sports were added to the programme.
Women’s Twenty20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis have been confirmed as additional sports.
This means there are currently 135 women’s medal competitions scheduled, compared to 133 for men.
Birmingham will also have the largest Commonwealth Para-sport programme.
“We are passionate advocates of women’s sport and Para-sport so I am thrilled we are able to make this special announcement,” said Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Dame Louise Martin.
There are currently seven mixed events, with the confirmed programme to be announced next year.
The three additional sports were approved by a majority of the 71 Games associations but shooting and archery have missed out, having also applied to be added to the event.
India – which boasts a distinguished record in shooting – has previously said it is considering pulling out of the Games in protest at the sport’s exclusion.
How will the additional sports work?
The Commonwealth Games has a variety of core sports, but organisers can also add optional sports and three have been added to the Birmingham 2022 programme.
Women’s T20 Cricket – The competition is the result of a joint bid by the International Cricket Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board and will feature eight teams playing at Edgbaston.
Cricket’s only previous inclusion in the Commonwealth Games came in 1998, when South Africa won a men’s 50-overs-a-side competition in Kuala Lumpur.
Beach volleyball – Made its debut at the 2018 Gold Coast Games and was considered one of the successes of the Australian programme.
A venue for the 2022 men’s and women’s beach volleyball event, which will see 48 athletes compete, is expected to be announced in the near future.
Para-table tennis – Another event that was included four years ago, the Birmingham competition will see 32 athletes take part across four medal events. It will be held at the NEC in the same venue as the table tennis competition.
The addition of table tennis takes the number of para sports to eight – a Commonwealth Games record.
Why was shooting left out?
Shooting had been contested at every Games since 1974.
It means there will be no place at Birmingham 2022 for David Calvert, Northern Ireland’s most successful Commonwealth Games competitor. He has been to 11 consecutive Games and won eight medals, four of them gold.
But 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”.
- Shooting exclusion defended by organisers
The overall total cost of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be £778m, making it the most expensive sports event Britain has hosted since the London 2012 Olympics.
Up to 4,500 athletes are expected to compete across 19 sports from 27 July to 7 August, 2022.