IOC Examining Squash's Hong Kong Open To Choose Which Sport To Add To 2020 Olympics
After two failed bids to get squash into the Olympics, world No. 1 Nicol David and her fellow players have "embarked on a campaign to raise the sport's global profile in an attempt to win over IOC chiefs in Hong Kong this week," according to Peter Rutherford of REUTERS. The 2020 Games will allow one sport to "be added to the program," with squash up against karate, the Chinese martial art of wushu, baseball, softball, roller sports, wakeboarding and sport climbing. IOC observers "are inspecting the Hong Kong Open as part of their squash evaluation," and David said that the tournament "was the ideal setting to show the sport deserved a place at the Games." Now "frustrated" and "determined to avoid rejection for a third time, squash examined how to make the game more fan-friendly and appealing to television." Players have also been "trying to raise its profile by staging flash mob dances in Malaysia and N.Y." (REUTERS, 11/27). In Hong Kong, Alvin Sallay noted David "wouldn't mind putting on her dancing shoes again" if it would help squash "grab the attention it needs to convince IOC observers that it is worthy" of the 2020 Games. David said, "Yes, we have done everything, the players even dancing on the streets of Brooklyn and Kuala Lumpur this year to raise the sport's profile." Hong Kong's premier squash tournament "will have to share the limelight with the bid to get into the Olympics." Hong Kong Squash Chair David Mui Ying-yuen said, "We are determined to put on a grand show" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/27).
WUSHU ON THE MOVE: THE STAR reported Malaysian Wushu Federation President Martin Lim "is optimistic the country will see a gold medalist if wushu becomes an Olympic sport." Next year's 12th World Wushu Championships at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium on Oct. 28-Nov. 6 "will be the best platform to showcase the sport." The event will mark the second time Malaysia will host the world meet, the first time being in '93, "which saw entries from 50 countries" (THE STAR, 11/27).