International Olympic Committee sets September deadline for 2020 events


Tokyo: Tokyo has until September to submit its proposals for new Olympic sports to be played when it hosts the summer Games in 2020, a top official from the global athletic body said Thursday.

John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said the organisation will publish in April a set of assessment criteria for those wanting to push their favourite sports to be considered as Olympic events.

“This is a very transparent process,” he told a press conference in the Japanese capital, after a two-day regular consultation for Japanese officials.

“The whole world is looking at this,” he said.

Japanese media have speculated that baseball/softball, karate and squash are among possible sports to be added for the Tokyo event, while enthusiasts have pushed tug-of-war, bowling and billiards as potential candidates.

To decide additional sports, the IOC will review various characteristics of events, such as necessary venues, business plans, the events’ popularity in the world and the gender balance of participating athletes, Coates said.

The final decision will be made before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he said.