Similar to how wrestling’s semifinals match losers don’t square-off against one another, tennis officials are considering eliminating bronze medal matches for Rio to lighten the load on the world’s best pros.
That would mean handing out two bronze medals, like they did when the event first returned to Seoul in 1988 after a 64-year hitatus from the Games.
Officials are also considering adding a third set tie-break after London spectators witnessed the two longest matches in Olympics history this summer.
International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti, in Rome for the European Olympic Committees meeting, told the AP that the matches in London were “very balanced and very long and that ruins the scheduling somewhat.”
Tennis legend Roger Federer needed a full 4 hours, 26 minutes – including a 36 game third set – to knock-off Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis. That marathon came three days after French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Canada’s Milos Raonic to set the previous record with a 3 hours, 57 minutes second-round bout.
Tokyo 2020 venues for the new Olympic sports of baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were approved by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.
That brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 venues to 39, with the potential for more.
The venues for new sports:
Baseball/softball — Yokohama Stadium (20 miles south of Tokyo)
Karate — Nippon Budokan
Skateboarding and Sport Climbing — Aomi Urban Sports Venue
Surfing — Tsurigasaki Beach
All of the new sports do not currently have a spot on the Olympic program beyond 2020 (baseball and softball were previously on the Olympic program before being taken off after Beijing 2008).
Agenda 2020 reforms allowed Olympic host cities to propose the addition of sports for their Games only, which is what Tokyo 2020 did to get them on the program.
The Tokyo Olympic venues are split between two zones — the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone — that are separated by the Olympic Village.
Tokyo 2020 and FIFA are still discussing the finalization of soccer venues. There are currently six, including two in Tokyo and one as far away as Sapporo (650 miles north).
Tokyo 2020 and the World Baseball Softball Confederation are still discussing the potential of adding a second baseball-softball venue in Fukushima prefecture, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima is about 150 miles north of Tokyo.
The Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants and several MLB and World Baseball Classic games, is not a 2020 Olympic venue.
MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic volleyball venue could be moved
Comcast and the U.S. Olympic Committee signed an agreement making Comcast an official partner of the USOC through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The deal allows Comcast and its brands to use Team USA marks in advertising and marketing, including the Olympic Rings.
More information is in this Comcast press release.
Comcast NBC Universal holds the U.S. media rights for the Olympics through 2032.
MORE: NBC Sports to air USA Track and Field events through 2024