Wrestling to compete with baseball/softball and squash for spot in 2020 Olympics
Wrestling will compete with baseball/softball and squash for a spot in the 2020 Olympics, giving hope to wrestlers months after their sport appeared on its way out of the Games.
Officials announced Wednesday that those three sports made the shortlist for inclusion at the Games. A decision will be made by a vote by IOC members in September.
Wrestling's chances of inclusion looked slim in February when the IOC announced -- in a surprising recommendation -- that the sport would be dropped from the 2020 Games. Wrestling was part of the ancient Olympics and one of the founding sports of the modern Olympics. Its participation rate was higher than other sports - such as modern pentathlon - which were saved in the vote.
Baseball and softball were dropped from the 2012 Games in a 2005 vote. At the time, the sports' lack of popularity among European countries, which make up a large portion of the IOC, was blamed.
PHOTOS: Future Olympic Stars Squash was a candidate for inclusion in 2005 and 2009 but failed to get the necessary votes. The BBC's Gary Connor reported Wednesday that the sport is one of the better funded non-Olympic sports. Officials say inclusion would likely bring a windfall of investment that could spur further growth.