Baseball, softball among additional sports proposed for 2020 Olympics

Monday September 28th, 2015

A joint bid for baseball and softball was joined by four other sports on the list proposed by Tokyo for inclusion at the 2020 Olympics, reports the Associated Press.

Also on the list were surfing, skateboarding, karate and sports climbing. In total, the proposal would add 18 events and 474 athletes across the five sports.

The recommendation will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee, which will make final decisions in August 2016.

Tokyo had been expected to nominate one or two sports, but the inclusion of five allows it to add baseball and karate, sports that are very popular in Japan, while still meeting the IOC's criteria that additional sports have a strong youth appeal. Surfing and skateboarding are the two sports that meet those standards.

“It was quite a difficult task,” said Toshiyuki Akiyama, vice governor of Tokyo and a member of the additional event program panel. “Baseball, softball and karate were proposed and supported by the Tokyo metropolitan assembly. As for skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing, the key word is youth.”

The proposal for baseball and softball is to play six-team tournaments, with 144 total players for baseball and 90 total players for softball. The structure for how the tournaments will be played has not yet been determined.

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