Wrestling gets reprieve and will be part of 2020 Olympics

Wrestling gets reprieve and will be part of 2020 Olympics

08 September 2013 / 17:28

Wrestling will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics Games after being voted in ahead of baseball/softball and squash.

The sport - part of every modern Olympics apart from 1900 - had been dropped from the initial core 2020 Olympic programme in February, after the International Olympic Committee's executive board assessed the performance of all 26 sports at London 2012.

Their full membership then had to decide its future alongside two shortlisted sports - baseball and softball, dropped after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and squash, which has been campaigning for nearly two decades for inclusion.

Wrestling - which was the overwhelming favourite - received a majority of 49 votes, while the combined baseball/softball bid got 24 votes and squash 22 at the IOC's annual session in Buenos Aires.

After being dropped earlier this year, wrestling's world governing body made a number of sweeping changes to the sport, with Nenad Lalovic joining as president. They promised new rules, better administration and rapid moves towards gender equality in their Olympic programme.

"I want to offer my sincere gratitude to each member of the International Olympic Committee that voted to save Olympic wrestling today," said Lalovic.

"Today was the most important day in the 3,000-year history of our sport.

"With this vote, the IOC have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference. I assure you that our modernisation will not stop now. 

"We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic Movement that we can be."

© Sportsbeat 2013