New Delhi: Chances of squash`s inclusion in Olympic Games have brightened after the International Olympic Committee shortlisted it for the 2020 edition.
The IOC`s Executive Board has listed baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wake-board and wushu for possible addition to the sports programme for the next Summer Olympics after Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The World Squash Federation (WSF) today welcomed the news that Squash has been included on the shortlist of sports to be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Games.
"We are delighted to be given this new opportunity to be considered for inclusion in the Olympic Sports Programme. I am confident that we will be able to show the IOC Programme Commission, the Executive Board and wider IOC membership that our case has become even stronger over recent years," said WSF President N Ramachandran.
"I truly believe that Squash would be a great Olympic sport. It fulfills all the criteria for inclusion in the Games, has proven universality and growth and we have an absolute commitment from all our top athletes that an Olympic medal would be the pinnacle of their careers.”
"We also have high-profile world champions, exciting world championships for men and women, massive participation from juniors to masters on all continents and a healthy, thriving programme of youth development worldwide," Ramachandran added.
Squash was not included in the 2016 Olympic Games when WSF bid for it last time. Ramachandran exuded confidence that squash has all the required elements for a sport to get popular at world and the Olympic levels.
"Squash has benefitted from some incredibly exciting technical innovations in recent years, including dramatic glass flooring, courts that can be sited in iconic settings such as the Pyramids and New York`s Grand Central Station. We are not a sport that stands still.”
"All this and the fact that Squash is a wonderful example of one-on-one sporting gladiatorial competition, would make it a perfect addition to the Games.”
"Our campaign starts with new energy and vigour as of today and I am delighted that we will have an opportunity to take our message to the whole Olympic and sporting family over the next two years," he added.