Squash Arrives At SportAccord

A squash delegation arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia Monday to attend SportAccord where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board will announce if the sport will be included in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The IOC Executive Board is expected to reduce the current list of eight sports bidding to join the 2020 Games following presentations May 29.

The squash delegation includes Nicol David, women’s world number one champion, and Ramy Ashour, the men’s number one champion.

N Ramachandran, World Squash Federation President, who is leading squash’s presentation team said, “this is a significant milestone in our quest to join the Olympic Program and I am delighted that our presentation team includes the women’s and men’s world number ones and current World Champions. It is crucial that we show the IOC Executive Board that we have the absolute commitment of our leading payers and having Nicol and Ramy with us says so much.

He added, “an important theme of our presentation will be the scale and breadth of innovations that Squash has introduced over the last few years. These include all glass courts, professional sports presentation, referee video review and the latest broadcast techniques such as multiple camera angles, Super Slow Mo replay, and our plans to introduce Super HD. Indeed, our innovation has probably been the most dramatic in the way squash is now broadcast and presented.

“We will also be stressing the global reach of squash. It is played in 185 countries by millions across the world, is growing in countries as diverse as Paraguay, India, Egypt and the United States – where we have almost one million players – and order books of court manufacturers are the fullest they have ever been.

He said, “Squash would also be easy and low cost to integrate into the Olympic Games with just 64 athletes, and two competition courts that can be built in a few days. We could share a venue or it could take place in an iconic location, and our sport has a great track record of doing exactly that.

“In fact, just last week the British Open took place in a Premier League soccer stadium. Scoring is simple in squash, matches are short and positions are decided on court, not by judges’ scores. We will be doing our best to bring all these elements to life in our presentation”.

A decision on which sport will join the 2020 Olympic Program will be made by the IOC at its session in Buenos Aires on September 8.