IOA, WFI hopeful of wrestling returning to Olympics

New Delhi: Describing wrestling`s omission from the 2020 Olympics as demoralising, the IOC-recognised IOA and the Wrestling Federation of India hoped that the sport would be brought back on the schedule after reconsideration.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said it will take up the issue with its International body FILA and build up support in the IOC for the sport`s re-inclusion in the Olympic programme.

The IOC-recognised IOA acting-President Vijay Kumar Malhotra offered full support to the WFI and FILA in their campaign to keep the sport going in the Olympic Games.

Malhotra said wrestling is a part of Indian culture.

"It is an ancient game which finds mention in "our historical texts...For Indians it evokes sentiments and emotions," he said.

Malhotra said the recent good showing by the Indian and other Asian wrestlers in the Olympics had given boost to the sport in the region and removing it from the programme will de-motivate and demoralise these youngsters.

"I hope that IOC will reconsider its decision and keep wrestling as a part of the Olympic programme," he added.

The IOC selected 25 sports as the core sports list for the 2020 Games in its meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Executive Board of IOC recommended that wrestling be included the seven shortlisted sports for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games as an additional sport.

The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the Executive Board of IOC in its meeting to be held in Russia in May 2013.

WFI said it will do all it can to make wrestling`s case strong.

"The Wrestling Federation of India will oppose the decision taken by the IOC and will make all necessary efforts to include Wrestling in the 2020 Olympic Games," the WFI said.

The President and Secretary General of WFI are contacting the FILA President and all other major wrestling nations to discuss this issue with the IOC.