Squash star Nick Matthew chats to Dom Howson from Sheffield’s The Star
World number two Nick Matthew insists squash are still the underdogs to be included in the Olympic Games programme in 2020.
Following a meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board on Wednesday, squash, baseball/softball and wrestling remain in the running to be added to the programme.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), who dropped wushu, wakeboarding, roller sports, karate and sport climbing from the shortlist, will decide in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September on which of the three sports will get the final spot.
Baseball/softball and wrestling have previously had a presence at the Olympics but squash has never been played at the Games.
Sheffield-born Matthew told The Star: “We are up against sports that have previously been in the Olympics so perhaps we are underdogs. But we feel we can bring something new and fresh to the Games. Tennis, badminton and table tennis are already in the Olympics and we want to complete all the racket sports.
“Squash is definitely on the up. The men and the women’s tours are growing but the Olympics would be the pinnacle for the sport and take it to the next level.”
With TV coverage having significantly increased in the sport over the last couple of years, Matthew now feels squash “ticks all the boxes” for the Olympics.
The 32-year-old, beaten by Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals of the British Open last weekend, added: “It is crucial for the future of squash that it gets Olympic recognition.”