x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Wrestling faces being dropped from 2020 Olympics

The discipline has been dropped from the list of 25 core sports, and must battle for its inclusion from 2020 onwards with the likes of wakeboarding and baseball.

Amer Hrustanovic and Damian Janikowski compete in the 84kg Greco-Roman wrestling event at London 2012.
Amer Hrustanovic and Damian Janikowski compete in the 84kg Greco-Roman wrestling event at London 2012.

Wrestling is to be dropped as an Olympic sport from the 2020 Games, it has been reported.

The sport had been one of several whose Olympic status was in doubt, alongside the likes of modern pentathlon and badminton.

Modern pentathlon had been favourite for the axe, but reports today claim it has been reprieved by the International Olympic Committee executive board with wrestling losing out instead.

"The executive board recommended that wrestling not be included on the list of 25 core sport," said Mark Adams, the IOC communications director.

"it now joins shortlisted sports vying for inclusion on the 2020 Olympics programme as an additional sport."

The news would represent a blow for the Arabian Gulf, which has traditionally featured strongly in the sport. At last year's games in London, Iran finished third in the medal table behind Russia and Japan.

The IOC board acted after reviewing the 26 sports on the current Olympic programme. Eliminating one sport allows the International Olympic Committee to add a new sport to the programme later this year.

Wrestling combines freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines. It had 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman at last year's London Olympics.

It could yet be offered a reprieve, as it will now join seven other sports in applying for inclusion in 2020.

The others are a combined bid from baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single opening in 2020.

The IOC executive board will meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to decide which sport or sports to propose for 2020 inclusion.

The final vote will be made at the IOC general assembly in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

sports@thenational.ae

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