Saint Petersburg, Russia – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board has announced that Wrestling, Baseball/Softball and Squash have been chosen for a shortlist of sports being considered for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The IOC Executive board met all afternoon Wednesday at the LenExpo Center in Saint Petersburg, Russia where the SportAccord Convention is taking place. They watched presentations from all eight candidate sports federations including Karate, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Squash, Wakeboard, Wrestling, Wushu and a combined Baseball and Softball Confederation. Presentations were 20-minutes long with an additional 10-minutes for questions and answers.
Wrestling was surprisingly and controversially cut from the 2020 Olympic programme earlier this year after the IOC Executive Board conducted their mandatory review; but under the rules, the sport was given the opportunity to reapply along with other hopeful sports. In three months the sport has practically reinvented itself with new rules, and new plans for the future.
A Baseball and Softball confederation was formed last year to campaign for these sports to be re-included in the Games after they last appeared in Beijing in 2008.
Squash has run an active campaign and had been considered a frontrunner to take the single available spot on the program – before Wrestling was added to the mix.
Both Baseball/Softball and Squash campaigned to be included in the Games for 2016, but were not selected.
The board was scheduled to deliberate a decision for at least an hour following the presentations but the announcement was bumped up by an hour shortly after the last sport was completed, indicating that a decision was made quickly. They had the option of choosing any number of sports for a short list, or even none at all.
The decision was made by confidential electronic voting.
The three shorlisted sports will be put to a vote on September 8 at the 125th Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that time the IOC could select one sport to be added to the programme, or they could choose not to add a sport at all.
The 2020 Games will also be awarded to a site in September – Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are in the running.
This is breaking news, more to come on GamesBids.com