Moscow: Wrestling fans breathed a big sigh of relief when the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) shortlisted wrestling with squash and baseball-softball for the 2020 Olympics.
Only one of these three sports will be allowed to participate in the Games in 2020. The executive board will meet again later this year in September in Argentina to take a final call on the matter.
The executive board selected the three sports by secret ballot from a shortlist of eight that also included karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
The vote followed a 30-minute presentations by each international federation and an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission to determine their potential added value to the Games.
"The executive board received excellent presentations today from eight international federations," said IOC president Jacques Rogge. "It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires. I wish the three shortlisted sports the best of luck in the run-up to the vote in September and would like to thank the other sports for their hard work and dedication."
In February, the IOC voted to drop wrestling after the 2016 Rio Games - even though the participation of the sport dates back to the ancient Olympics in 708 B.C.
The criticism against wrestling is that the sport has failed to modernise, has complex rules and allows little room for participation by women.
(With inputs from IANS)