Baku. 22 June. REPORT.AZ/ Eight International Sport Federations (IF) have been shortlisted to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the organizing committee announced Monday. Baseball and softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, climbing, squash, surfing and wushu will now vie for one or more possible spots on the Olympic program in 2020, Report informs citing foreign media.
Baseball first became an official Olympic sport in 1992 and softball in 1996, but both sports were voted off the program after the Beijing 2008 Games and were subsequently replaced with rugby sevens and golf to begin at the Rio 2016 Games.
Both sports continued to campaign for re-inclusion, starting first with failed bids for the 2016 Games and then as a combined bid as the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) for the 2020 Games, that also failed.
But with the passing of Agenda 2020 reforms by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) late last year, Tokyo and other future host cities will have the opportunity to add sports to their individual programs that adhere to Olympic principals and may have a special regional appeal. For that reason, baseball and softball - both very popular across Japan - have been considered the most likely contenders to be added to the Tokyo Games program.