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SBD Global/March 7, 2013/Olympics

Japan Wrestling Chief Meets With IOC; Australian Olympic Official Sees Hope For Sport

Japan Wrestling Federation President Tomiaki Fukuda met with IOC inspectors Wednesday evaluating Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Summer Games, "but held back from criticising them for the possible exclusion of his sport," according to the AFP. Fukuda was among those "who expressed outrage after the IOC executive board recommended last month that wrestling not be included" in the 2020 program. "I am in a very, very delicate position now in front of you, IOC members," Fukuda told the group at an arena planned as the venue for wrestling, taekwondo and fencing if Tokyo wins the 2020 Games. "Therefore I can only say thank you very much" for coming, he said (AFP, 3/6).

IN AUSTRALIA: REUTERS' Nick Mulvenney reported Australian IOC Executive Board member John Coates was "amazed" that wrestling was recommended for the axe from the Summer Games last month and thinks the sport still has a very good chance of retaining its place in the program. Coates is one of 14 IOC members "who voted in Lausanne to recommend wrestling be dropped from the Games after 2016." Coates, however, thinks wrestling "will be on the shortlist after the board meets in St. Petersburg in May to decide which of eight candidate sports will proceed to the next stage." Coates told reporters on Wednesday, "I would be very surprised if wrestling isn't one of those (on the shortlist) and you could well get a very different result when there's 115 people voting as opposed to 14" (REUTERS, 3/6).

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