More Commonwealth Games gold could be in the sights of Australia golfers, shooters and BMX riders after their sports were included for the 2026 Games to be held in regional Victoria.
But men’s T20 cricket was not among the 20 sports unveiled on Wednesday for the event which will be held in March, 2026.
Golf, coastal rowing, shooting and BMX racing have been added, with golf and BMX making Commonwealth Games debuts.
An Australian team captained by Meg Lanning won the first women’s T20 cricket gold medal in Birmingham this year and the Aussies will get to defend their title in 2026.
But there was no room on the program for men’s T20, with cricket last played by men at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Coastal rowing is a new inclusion that will require competitors to battle the elements of the open water, a nod to surf lifesaving boats.
Golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a more than 100-year hiatus, with major champions Cameron Smith and Minjee Lee representing Australia in Tokyo in 2021.
“This announcement validates golf’s increasing popularity and the enormous growth that the sport has enjoyed over the last three years,” Golf Australia CEO, James Sutherland, said.
“The Commonwealth Games in 2026 will provide a huge platform to further demonstrate golf’s appeal as a sport for all.
Australia won gold in the BMX in Tokyo, where Queenslander Logan Martin took out the freestyle competition in its Olympics debut.
She was delighted that so many riding and cycling events had been added to the original roster of Commonwealth Games 2026 sports.
“We were always confident that these extra events and disciplines would add spectacular action, drawing power and medal potential to the Games,’’ AusCycling CEO Marne Fechner said.
Shooting also returns after being left off the program in Birmingham. Australian shooters won three golds among nine medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Games before the sport was removed.
“Today’s announcement is something that our shooting community should come together and celebrate,” Shooting Australia chief executive Adam Sachs said.
As part of a Commonwealth Games revamp, host nations were given more flexibility to choose which sports, outside the core ones of swimming and athletics, they would like included.
“The program is rooted in the CGF’s 2026-30 strategic road map, which provides hosts with greater flexibility to propose new sports, especially ones with specific local relevance that will enhance cultural showcasing and increase community engagement,” Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin said.
Australia topped the medal count at the Birmingham Games, winning 67 gold out of 178 medals.
FULL LIST OF SPORTS
Aquatics (swimming, Para swimming and diving)
Athletics and Para athletics
3×3 basketball, 3×3 wheelchair basketball
Cricket T20 (women)
Cycling (mountain bike)
Cycling (track and Para track)
Lawn bowls and Para lawn bowls
Shooting and shooting Para sport
Table tennis and Para table tennis
Triathlon and Para triathlon
Weightlifting and Para powerlifting