All eyes are focused on Rio ahead of tomorrow night’s opening ceremony but there is a longer horizon for the Olympics and yesterday the IOC announced that five new sports would be added to the 28 we will see in Rio the time the Games next come around in Tokyo 2020.
Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball will both have six team tournaments as they make a return after an absence of two Games cycles.
Karate will also be on the agenda with 60 competitors across six events.
Squash failed to make the cut despite strong lobbying and instead gave way to three more youth oriented sports in surfing, skateboarding and speed climbing.
The latter two will take place in a downtown area of the City providing a similar experience to that of Beach Volleyball at the London Games.
“We want to take sport to the youth,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
“With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them.”
“The Irish Women’s Fastpitch Softball team is improving steadily since its inception last year,” said Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery.
“The consistent growth of Baseball in Ireland and across Europe means that a return to the biggest stage of all is richly deserved.”
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