IOC President offers hope for baseball and softball

Fri 22 Nov 2013

Thomas Bach, the newly-elected President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has told a news conference in Tokyo that baseball and softball could still return to the Olympic programme for the 2020 Games in Japan.

Bringing back the two sports, which were dropped from the Olympics after 2008, is something that Japan would be keen to see, since both sports are hugely popular in the country and facilities that could stage Olympic baseball and softball competitions are already in place.

Baseball and softball joined forces to bid against wrestling and squash for the one available berth at the 2020 Games in a vote held at an IOC Congress in September 2013 in Argentina, but missed out after the IOC voted to reinstate wrestling seven months after dropping the sport from the Olympic programme.  Baseball/softball finished second in the three-way ballot.
 

Changes

"Personally I am open to more flexibility in the programme for the Olympic Games," Bach told his audience in Tokyo on 20 November. "But we must see what my colleagues are thinking about this."

Bach, who was elected president at the same September IOC meeting where Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympics for a second time, is expected to push through changes and has said there should be flexibility about the number of Olympic sports.

He said the case for baseball/softball would be taken up at upcoming IOC meetings in December and in February at the Winter Olympic Games in Russia.

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