Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have released a list of 26 sports applying for inclusion in the prestigious event. Many are familiar sports that have been knocking on the Olympic door for some time, but others are little-known.
Men’s baseball and women’s softball have been on the fringes of Olympic inclusion for some time now. Both sports are highly popular in Japan and would surely recieve fanatical support.
Others, like wush or sumo, would definitely give the Tokyo Olympics a unique feel.
But still other sport federations are keen for the legitimacy and profile only the Olympics can give.
Competitive sports like karate, squash, surfing, chess and various roller sports have thrown their hat in the ring.
“We have three criteria in deciding which sports will be chosen,” said Toshiro Muto, the chief executive officer of the Tokyo organising committee. “They must be popular with young people, they must give momentum to Tokyou 2020, and they must meet IOC standards.”
A shortlist of candidates will be announced on June 22.
In August ther finalists will be able to make a final presentation in Tokyo. The organisers will then make their recommendations to the International Olympic Committee by September 30.
The IOC, in turn, will make a final decision by August 206 when it meets in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Olympic Games.
Since the ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ (approved in December) host cities may propose one or more additional sports for their Games.
Both the IOC and Tokyo officials are keen to include sports appealing to younger people.
Among the sports applying for inclusion are: Air Sports, American Football, Baseball/ Softball, Bowls, Bowling, Bridge. Chess, Dancesports, Floorball, Flying Disc, Karate, Korfball, Netball, Orienteering, Polo, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Squash, Sumo, Surfing, Tug of War, Underwater Hockey, Waterski and Wakeboarding, Wushu.