Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wrestling 'reacted well' to save Olys spot: Rogge

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LONDON -- Wrestling's governing body has "reacted well" and made the necessary changes to give the sport a chance of saving its place in the Olympics, IOC president Jacques Rogge said.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rogge said FILA has tackled the issues that led the IOC executive board in February to remove wrestling from the list of core sports for the 2020 Games.

"I think they had the good answer and the good reaction," he said. "They obviously were taken a bit by a surprise by the fact they could leave the core group."

Rogge praised the measures approved by FILA at its congress in Moscow last weekend, including rule changes to make matches more compelling and the inclusion of women and athletes in decision-making positions.

Wrestling is now competing with seven other sports for a single spot on the 2020 program. The IOC board meets in St. Petersburg, Russia, next week and will recommend one sport or a shortlist of sports for a vote by the full IOC in September.

"The federation definitely understood the reasons why they were ousted, and they reacted what they normally should have done," Rogge said. "They did a good job on that, so we'll see what the judgment is of the executive board on all of the eight sports but definitely I would say that wrestling has reacted well."

Wrestling, which dates back to the ancient Olympics, remains on the sports lineup for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The new sports seeking inclusion in 2020 are squash, wakeboarding, karate, wushu, roller sports and a combined baseball-softball bid. They will all make presentations to the IOC board next Wednesday in St. Petersburg.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2013 C6

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