Nicely mirroring the “which sport for 2020″ vote that is currently running on “Inside the Games” (you have voted, haven’t you?) this report on “Inside the Games” suggests that the three pace-setters in the poll, namely Squash, Wrestling and Karate, are favoured to be the three put onto a short-shortlist after the final presentations to the IOC Executive Board later this month in St Petersburg.
IOC Set to Shortlist Three Sports for 2020 Olympics
Karate, squash and wrestling are tipped to be shortlisted after all bidders have presented to the IOC on May 29, with baseball/softball, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu dropped from the pack.
But ATR is told that the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) must deliver a very convincing case to the EB if it wants to stay in the bidding contest.
The sources say FILA chiefs have to provide strong evidence to show how much the sport has changed since the IOC’s ruling body recommended it be dropped from the list of 25 core sports in February.
Decisions made at FILA’s extraordinary congress in Moscow next week could aid its cause. Delegates from 177 national federations will consider the introduction of new rules, changes in the organization to include more women in leadership roles and additional athlete involvement in the sport’s governing body.
Baseball’s joint bid with softball appears doomed to fail in its quest to be readmitted to the Olympics.
Major League Baseball’s failure to break the season to allow its best players to participate in the Olympics has hurt the 2020 bid, it is claimed.
One source close to the bidding process told ATR the MLB’s lack of commitment to the Olympics would not be well received by the IOC EB.
He said the sports which merged to form the World Baseball Softball Confederation last month was simply a “marriage of convenience”.
Karate has “made a strong claim over the years” to be included in the EB’s shortlist, he added. With the IOC keen to balance the Olympic program, karate’s challenge lay in the fact it’s “another combat sport” for the Games; boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling are the others.
Commenting on roller sports, sports climbing, wakeboarding and wushu, he suggested they were not developed enough internationally to merit a place in the Olympics, lacking the “universality” factor the IOC demanded of any new sport.
IOC president Jacques Rogge is said to favor three sports for the shortlist, according to another person familiar with the bid race.
The Belgian is expected to take a strong lead in EB discussions on the sports in St. Petersburg. He’s keen to leave a strong legacy when he steps down from the IOC presidency in September.
The vote on the sport to fill the one slot available on the program for the 2020 Games takes place at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires on Sept. 8.
If this turns out to be what happens, how do you think the final final vote will go ???