News / Europe

Squash, Baseball, Wrestling on 2020 Olympics Shortlist

Russia's Dzhamal Otarsultanov celebrates after defeating Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili on the final of the Men's 55Kg Freestyle wrestling during the London 2012 Olympic Games Aug. 10, 2012.Russia's Dzhamal Otarsultanov celebrates after defeating Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili on the final of the Men's 55Kg Freestyle wrestling during the London 2012 Olympic Games Aug. 10, 2012.
x
Russia's Dzhamal Otarsultanov celebrates after defeating Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili on the final of the Men's 55Kg Freestyle wrestling during the London 2012 Olympic Games Aug. 10, 2012.
Russia's Dzhamal Otarsultanov celebrates after defeating Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili on the final of the Men's 55Kg Freestyle wrestling during the London 2012 Olympic Games Aug. 10, 2012.
Reuters
Wrestling, baseball/softball and squash made an International Olympic Committee shortlist for potential inclusion in the 2020 Games with five other sports failing to make the cut, the IOC announced on Wednesday.
 
The three sports will now be put to the vote at the International Olympic Committee session in Buenos Aires in September with only one of them winning a place on the 2020 Games program.
 
The IOC is eager to revamp its sports program in a bid to keep the Olympics relevant to a younger generation to attract viewers and sponsors.
 
Five other sports - karate, wakeboarding, sports climbing, wushu and roller sports - did not make the shortlist, meaning their chances of Olympic inclusion were dashed for at least another four years.
 
“It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the [executive] board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge.
 
For IOC vice president Thomas Bach it was “a good mix between team sports and individual sports.
 
“Wrestling managed to convincingly present the changes they have undertaken, both on a sporting level as well as in the organization,” Bach said.
 
Wrestling was taken off the 2020 Games program in February in a shock move but Wednesday's decision threw the sport an Olympic lifeline.
 
Wrestling, which has featured in every modern Olympics since 1896 apart from the 1900 edition, has frantically scrambled to push through a string of reforms since February in a desperate bid to remain in contention.
 
It made the cut on Wednesday after only one round, winning a majority eight out of 14 votes.
 
Baseball/softball, which received no votes in the first round, booked their spot next with squash clinching the final place on the shortlist.
 
Global Growth

 
Olympic inclusion guarantees sports millions of dollars of revenues while a Games exit can stifle a sport's global growth.
 
“All of those who helped us, I want to call on them to help us again because the match is not finished,” said international wrestling federation [FILA] president Nenad Lalovic.
 
“The second match starts now,” said the Serbian, who jumped up and hugged associates in a packed conference room during the IOC announcement.
 
Baseball and softball, which in 2005 became the first sports to be taken off the Games program since polo in 1936, united into one federation and the move paid off as they grabbed a spot on the list.
 
“We got a chance to fight for our dreams,” said Don Porter, co-president of the World Baseball Softball Federation. "We are in the seventh inning, we will now move to the ninth and I guess we need to hit a home run. Our young athletes had dreams and we can now help them get those dreams back.”
 
For squash, which battled to win a spot at the 2016 Olympics but lost out to rugby and golf, it was a long-awaited decision.
 
“This is a huge milestone in our quest to join the Olympic Program and I would like to thank the executive board for the faith it has placed in squash,” federation chief N Ramachandran said.
 
The IOC will elect the 2020 Games host city at its session on Sept. 7 and the new sport to be included in those Games a day later. Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul are bidding to stage the 2020 Olympics.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs