Will squash be able to grapple with Wrestling for 2020 spot?
New Delhi: The battle for the final spot at the 2020 Olympics has entered its business end with wrestling, squash and a combined bid from baseball-softball hoping to emerge stronger than ever from their existence crisis when the full IOC assembly will take a call on their future on Sunday.
The crucial vote during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina will see the culmination of a contest that began two years ago. One of the sports will join the 2020 Summer Games while the others will be left to ponder about their future outside of the Olympic programme.
Squash seems to be a front-runner in the battle of survival after the World Squash Federation, headed by its president N Ramachandran, delivered a dynamic and television-friendly presentation to the IOC Executive Board in Russia on May 29 before being shortlisted for tomorrow`s vote.
This is the third consecutive bid by squash to join the Games and journey to get here has been a long one - 10 years in fact - having failed in 2005 in Singapore and 2009 in Denmark.
The WSF delegation is increasingly hopeful that its case to join the Games will succeed.
"Squash`s journey to join the Olympic Games has been a long one. Our current bid began in earnest two years ago and over this time we have been through a robust process and travelled the world presenting our case.
Sunday`s presentation will be the culmination of a 10-year campaign by Squash to join the Olympic Games," said Ramachandran.
"Squash can offer something exciting to the Olympic experience. Squash would be low cost and easy to integrate into the Games with just 64 athletes. We could share a venue if required, or be located to showcase an iconic backdrop - such as in front of the Pyramids.
"We are a genuinely global sport, played in 185 countries by many millions across the world. We are growing in regions such as South America, central Europe, China, and India as well as in the more traditional areas including the United States. On Sunday, we demonstrate to the IOC that Squash is a sport that represents the future, not the past," he added.