TNI Bureau: In a surprise decision on Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board recommended to drop Wrestling from 2020 Olympic Games as to retain modern pentathlon.
Modern pentathlon was seen as the weakest link even though it was created by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics; bringing together the skills of a soldier — riding, fencing, swimming, shooting and running — and on the Olympic programme since 1912.
However, the final decision, seen as a formality, will be made by the IOC Session in September in Buenos Aires where wrestling can also seek to be included again, along with seven other sports.
Wrestling, one of the oldest sports on the Olympic, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports — baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu — vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport.
Wrestling had 18 medal events (11 freestyle, seven Greco—Roman) at the London 2012 edition, with Russia the most successful nation with four golds, two silvers and five bronze and 38 nations winning medals.
India’s wrestler Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt bagged silver and bronze medals respectively in the last Olympic.
The last sports removed from the Olympics were baseball and softball, voted out by the IOC in 2005 and off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games. Golf and rugby will be joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.