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BMX Freestyle, 3×3 Basketball, Mixed Relays Added to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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A 3 x 3 basketball game in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Vidhyaa for The National

Athletics and swimming mixed relay competitions are among those included at Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced here today.

A mixed 4×400 meter relay will be held in athletics.

A mixed 4x100m medley mixed relay has been added to the swimming program.

Male and female BMX freestyle park and 3×3 basketball have also been confirmed as two new disciplines on the program, as reported exclusively by insidethegames yesterday.

Mixed team competitions have also been added judo, table tennis, archery and triathlon.

A mixed relay will be held in triathlon along with table tennis doubles and mixed team archery and judo.

Men’s and women’s madison cycling races were also added to increase the total number of track events to 12.

Swimming also gained additional men’s 800m and women’s 1500m freestyle races, ensuring that male and females will be able to take part in the same number of events in the pool at Tokyo 2020.

Fencing will also receive two additional team events to end the current practice where two miss out on a rotating basis.

These decisions are final because, under the Olympic Charter, no approval is needed from the IOC Session.

A total of 48.8 percent of the competitors at Tokyo 2020 will be female, a record.

This compares with 45.2 of those who competed a Rio 2016 and 44.2 percent at London 2012.

“The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 program last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic program,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

“I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.

Competition at the 2016 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup in Montpellier, France. Photo: Christian van Hanja / UCI

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori welcomed the changes to the program.

“With the new events confirmed today, and with the five new sports and 18 new events that were added last year, I believe that the Olympic Games have become much closer to President Bach’s vision, which is for a Games more appealing to young people,” he said.

“During the process, I showed Tokyo 2020’s determination to minimize costs. I’d like to express my appreciation to President Bach and vice-president Coates for putting together such an amazing event program.”

High diving, mixed synchronized swimming and mixed team events in modern pentathlon and taekwondo are among those whose applications to be included at Tokyo 2020 were unsuccessful.

Parkour in gymnastics has also been rejected.

Table tennis missed out with men’s and women’s doubles and swimming were unsuccessful in proposing new 50m breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke events.

Weightlifting have lost one men’s event from the program and not gained the additional proposed women’s event.

Boxing have lost two men’s events to make way for two new female ones.

It will be up to the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Boxing Association to propose exactly which men’s events will be cut from the program.

Many other International Federations have suffered cuts to their Olympic quotas.

The most drastic was in athletics, who have had their quota cut by 105 competitors.

There will be 22 less in swimming and 18 fewer in water polo.

Water polo team sizes will be cut from 13 to 11, although 10, rather than eight women’s teams, will participate.

Rowing will lose 24 athletes, sailing 30, shooting 30, weightlifting 64 and wrestling 56.

Cycling will have no extra athletes, despite the four new events, meaning quotas must be cut from other areas.

This will include a transfer of 14 men from the cycling road race to the BMX freestyle.

Other world governing bodies have removed existing events from the program to make way for new female ones.

Canoeing have dropped the C2 slalom and two sprint events to make way for the first three female Olympic C-class divisions.

Rowing have scrapped the lightweight men’s four for an open-weight women’s events.

Shooting are replacing the men’s 50 meter rifle prone, 50m pistol and double trap with three mixed team competitions.

The latter proposal is proving especially contentious and the International Shooting Sport Federation have called an Extraordinary General Assembly for further discussions in Munich on June 25.

Sailing have also transferred a mixed multihull to a mixed foiling multihull.

In total, this will mean there will be 285 less athletes competing in the core sports at Tokyo 2020 than the 11,237 who took part at Rio 2016.

This figure does not include 18 new events and 474 new athletes proposed in the five new sports of baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing approved last year to appear just at Tokyo 2020.

By Nick Butler

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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