NZOC satisfied with 2020 Olympic programme

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 11:17 13/02/2013

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The New Zealand Olympic Committee says it is "satisfied" by the International Olympic Committee's core programme for the 2020 Games - and the IOC's provisional decision to drop wrestling, an ancient Olympic sport.

This morning (NZT) the IOC declared its central disciplines for the 2020 Olympics with the major development being the removal of wrestling from the list of 25 core events.

Wrestling, a highly traditional Olympic discipline which dates back to the ancient Olympic Games of 708 BC, must now compete against wushu (Chinese martial art), wakeboarding, sport climbing, roller sports, squash, baseball/softball and karate for a place in the 2020 Games.

"The New Zealand Olympic Committee is satisfied that all major New Zealand Olympic sports have secured their spots on the core Olympic programme for 2020," an NZOC statement said.

"New sports golf and rugby sevens are also assured of their place.

"While disappointing for New Zealand Wrestling and the New Zealand athletes that participate in this ancient sport, it is important to note that today's decision is a recommendation that wrestling be re-examined.

"The final confirmation of sports to be included in the 2020 programme will take place in September."

Sixteen New Zealanders have competed in wrestling at the Olympic Games between 1956 and 2000. No wrestling medals have been won by New Zealand.

Wrestling also features on the Commonwealth Games programme.

Olympic candidate sports will be presented to the IOC in May, with one sport cut before a vote for a single sport to be added to the 2020 programme.

That vote will take place in September 2013 by the IOC executive board in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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