LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic leaders have recommended the addition of baseball-softball and four other sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
IOC executive board member C.K. Wu tells The Associated Press that the board backed the proposed inclusion of the combined baseball-softball bid, as well as surfing, karate, skate boarding and sport climbing.
The decision, which was widely expected, came Wednesday on the opening day of a three-day board meeting in Lausanne.
The five sports were presented as a package.
The recommendation will go to a vote of the full International Olympic Committee at its general assembly in Rio de Janeiro in August on the eve of the Summer Games.
IOC vice president John Coates says the executive board was unanimous in its decision to recommend the addition of five sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
He says baseball-softball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing were approved as a single package on Wednesday. They will be presented that way when the recommendation is put to a vote at the IOC general assembly in Rio de Janeiro in August on the eve of the Summer Games.
Coates says the five represent a “good balance between sports that are very popular in Japan and those better engaging youth.”
He notes that baseball and softball have a huge following in Japan, and karate has a long tradition in the country.
Coates says sport climbing is an emerging sport in Europe, surfing offers a “whole new culture” to the Olympics and skateboarding is particularly appealing to youth.
Coates said the IOC’s recommendation follows an agreement between the International Roller Skating Federation and the International Skateboarding Federation. He says the ISF will run the sport at the Olympics.