New Delhi: The suspense surrounding which sport out of wrestling, squash and baseball-softball will go through to the 2020 and 2024 Olympics ended on Sunday in Buenos Aires when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted in favour of wrestling.
Wrestling managed to survive the axe With 49 out of 95 IOC members voting for the sport. The other two contenders, baseball-softball and squash, won 24 and 22 votes respectively. All 95 votes counted with no member abstaining from the process.
"With this vote, you have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference" said the FILA president, Nenad Lalovic, who had to answer a few uncomfortable questions by the IOC members after making a presentation. "I assure each of you that our modernization will not stop now. We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic movement that we can be," Lalovic added.
The questions surrounded corruption in wrestling, why it hasn't evolved in the last decade and bringing gender equality in terms of encouraging women's events. Lalovic gave a very emotional response, stating that the sport took notice of it and has made the changes needed in terms of rules as well as competition.
"We have made mistakes," Lalovic told the IOC members Sunday. "We admitted but we decided to listen and learn. This is the only way to be a partner of the IOC. We are aware of our mistakes and they will not happen again. We have to update our sport, like any other sport, every day."
All three sports gave a 20-minute presentation before the voting process, after which the floor was opened for questions to be asked from the respective panels who made presentations on behalf of wrestling, squash and baseball-softball.
The IOC also agreed on the 25 sports that will form the core for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The 25 sports, as proposed by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in February, are: athletics, rowing, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, badminton, basketball, fencing, football, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, aquatics, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.