Tokyo: In a positive development for the sport, the organising committee of 2020 Tokyo Olympics yesterday shortlisted squash as one of the eight disciplines to present its case before a final recommendation is made to the International Olympic Committee in September this year.
After the disappointment of missing out on a place on the programme for the 2020 Olympic Games at the IOC Congress in Buenos Aires in 2013, the present development is sure to give squash players all over the world a big reason to rejoice.
"We are confident that squash would bring something special to the programme of the Olympic Games," said World Squash Federation (WSF) president N Ramachandran on behalf of players from 185 countries in which the sport is played.
"Squash is a fine gladiatorial sport played all over the world and featuring great athleticism, competition and broadcast output," he added. WSF grabbed the new opportunity with both hands and thanked the Tokyo Olympics orgainsers for giving them another chance.
"We are very grateful to the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel for including us in the shortlist from which nominations to the IOC will be made. There is a long and strong squash tradition in Japan, with the Japanese Squash Association closing in on its 50th anniversary," said Ramachandran.
Baseball and softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, surfing and wushu were named finalist sports to be considered to be added for the 2020 Olympic Games set to take place in Tokyo, Japan.