Twenty-six International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized Federations have proposed events to be considered for inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, organisers have confirmed today following an Executive Board meeting in the Japanese capital.
Leading the list is baseball and softball, the sports widely favoured to be added due to their huge popularity in host nation which were only dropped from the programme after the Beijing 2008 Games.
Karate, one of only two non-Olympic sports due to feature at the inaugural European Games starting today in Baku, is another thought to harbour a strong chance, along with squash, a sport unsuccessful in the initial race for 2020 inclusion won by wrestling in 2013.
Bowling, snooker, sport climbing, surfing and wushu are others who have already made their intentions well know, along with roller sports, which may have included skateboarding within their applications, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Others to apply are air sports, american football, bowls, bridge, chess, dance sport, floorball, flying disc, korfball, netball, orienteering, polo, racquetball, sumo, tug of war, underwater sports and water skiing.
There are only seven IOC-recognised sports which have not applied, consisting of climbing and mountaineering, motorcycling, motor racing, cricket, basque pelota and lifesaving and powerboating.
Each application for a new sport will be examined ahead of the announcement of a shortlist on June 22, after which a second phase of the application process will begin.
Serving as a “driving force to promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal” has been cited as key, along with “engaging the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision”.
The second phase will include the submission of further details from the shortlisted IFs and a presentation to the Additional Event Programme Panel in Tokyo ahead of a proposal to the IOC on September 30.
Final confirmation is then expected to be made at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016, with no details on exactly how many sports will be added having been given.
No events within sports already on the programme are eligible to apply, but these sports can apply under a separate process, with no decision likely until three years before the Games in 2017.
International Basketball Federation secretary-general Patrick Baumann has told insidethegames how they plan to apply for 3×3 basketball to be added to the program.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.