Surfing closer to 2020 Olympic spot

Surfer Leonardo Fioravanti

Italian surfer Leonardo Fioravanti tops the World Surfing League’s Qualifying Series

Skateboarding and surfing are two of five sports which could be added to the Olympics for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Karate, sports climbing and baseball/softball are the other three sports proposed by the International Olympic Committee’s executive board.

A decision will be made during an IOC session held on 1-4 August before the Rio Olympics start on 5 August.

An IOC statement said the sports “offer a key focus on youth, which is at the heart of the Games vision for Tokyo”.

It added: “They represent a combination of well-established and emerging sports with significant popularity in Japan and beyond.

“If approved, the change would be the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.”

Future Games hosts are being given a chance to bring in one or more sports popular in their country to boost ratings and attract greater sponsorship.

Tokyo organisers had put forward these five sports last September and on Wednesday the IOC executive board voted unanimously in favour of the proposal.

The decision to add the five sports would not affect the current quota of sports at the Olympics and future Games would not necessarily have to include the same five sports.

“Discussions on the event programme in the existing 28 Olympic sports for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are ongoing, and will be finalised by the IOC executive board in mid-2017,” the statement added.

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