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Wrestling, Baseball/Softball and Squash React to Olympic Short Listing

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image Reporters crowd around the Wrestling Federation bid team led by President Nenad Lalovic after announcement (GB Photo)

Reporting from the scene at the SportAccord Convention in Saint Petersburg, Russia - expect breaking news from GamesBids.com all week and follow @gamesbids

Saint Petersburg, Russia - Loud cheers erupted, and tears shed when each of the three sports elected to a shortlist to be considered for the 2020 Olympic Games programme were read.

Wrestling, a Baseball and Softball Confederation and Squash were the three chosen sports that will continue to compete for one possible spot that may be awarded at a final election in September.  The IOC will also have the option of choosing none.

In a complex, hidden, electronic ballot system – it was close.  There were 11 individual ballots including three votes – one for each sport chosen – and several run-offs.  There were 14 voters on each ballot representing the members of the IOC Executive board.

Wrestling won outright on the first ballot achieving 8 of the 14 votes.

In the second round, Roller Sports and Wakeboarding were eliminated with zero votes followed by Sport Climbing on the next ballot with one vote.  Then after several run-off ballots – Baseball/Softball was chosen as the second sport.

Finally, in the third vote Squash won in three ballots with 8 votes followed by Wushu with four and Sport Climbing with 2.

On the vote, World Squash Federation President N Ramachandran said “this is a huge milestone in our quest to join the Olympic Programme and I would like to thank the Executive Board for the faith it has placed in Squash.”

“It was fantastic to have the women’s and men’s world number ones on our presentation team, and Nicol and Ramy were passionate about what it would mean to them to have the chance to compete in the Olympic Games.”

Baseball and Softball joined forces last year in a strategic effort to bring both sports back into the Games after being cut from the programme beginning in 2012.

“It’s not a strategy, I think it’s a reality,” Riccardo Fraccari, co-president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation said to GamesBids.com after the announcement.

“I think it’s natural, not a strategy, we are one confederation.”

“It’s a commitment we made some time ago and the commitment is that we are partners,” co-president Don Porter said.

“We want to work together in the interests of boys and girls that play baseball and softball.”

“We’re in the seventh inning and we hope to get to the ninth inning in Buenos Aires.”

Wrestling Federation President Nenad Lalovic said he believes recent rule changes made to his sport was a key factor in the IOC selection and he reacted with further determination.

He said “we will prepare more new arguments for Buenos Aires.”

“We just have to compete again to prove we are the best, and we will do so.” 

A tweet from the official Wrestling twitter account said @fila_official said “Our strength is your support. The athletes. the fans. The friends. You #SaveOlympicWrestling. THANK YOU. “

The final vote will take place at an IOC session on September 10, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Olympic Sports Bids Summary
Bid Status: Wrestling has been included in 2020 Olympics
Bid Date: September 2013
Bid Location: Beunos Aires, Argentina
Description: Wrestling has been included in 2020 Olympics
Bid Book: Link To Bid Book
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