The International Olympic Committee was foolish to expect wrestling to go down without a fight. Three months after being swept from the 2020 Olympic slate, wrestling took an important step towards reinstatement Tuesday, according to ESPN.
Along with squash and baseball-softball, wrestling claimed a spot on the shortlist for inclusion in the games. The IOC assembly will pick one of the three on September 8.
Following its February exclusion, wrestling made several changes. Women and athletes were included in decision-making and rules were tweaked. Matches used to be best of three two-minute rounds; now there are two three-minute periods with cumulative scoring.
Representatives from eight sports federations made 30-minute pitches before the IOC executive board. Victorious representatives gave wonderfully cliche quotes afterword.
“The match is not finished,” said Nenad Lalovic, the recently elected president of the international wrestling federation, FILA. “We have a second match to fight. But be careful, we are good fighters.”
Not to be outdone, World Baseball Softball Confederation co-president Don Porter said:
“We’re in the seventh inning now.”
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