Sunday 25 September 2016

IOC agrees to five new sports for Tokyo 2020 Olympics - including baseball and skateboarding

Ben Rumsby

Published 04/08/2016 | 07:54

Cuba and USA clash at the Sydney Olympics in 2000
Cuba and USA clash at the Sydney Olympics in 2000

Skateboarding, surfing and climbing have become Olympic sports after being added to the programme for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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The extreme sports join karate in being introduced to the world’s biggest athletic event, while baseball and softball return to the fold after being axed ahead of London 2012.

All five sports were recommended for inclusion last month by the International Olympic Committee, which ratified their inclusion during their annual session in Rio on Wednesday.

The IOC hopes to draw in new audiences by introducing youth-oriented disciplines into the Summer Games, as it successfully managed in the Winter edition.

The five added sports, which will not replace any of the 28 already on the schedule for Tokyo, would include 18 events and involve 474 athletes.

Climbing’s addition could give Britain a medal hope after Shauna Coxsey became the first Briton to win the Bouldering World Cup last month.

Baseball and softball were included separately at the Olympics between 1992 and 2008, but made a joint bid to be readmitted to the Games.

None of the other sports had been included before, though surf lifesaving was a demonstration event at the Paris Games in 1900.

Telegraph.co.uk

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