Will Karate Make 2020 Olympics?
What do skateboarding, surfing, baseball, and karate have in common? They are all being recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. According to a report from BBC Sport, Karate is one of eight sports from a total of 26 that were shortlisted for inclusion.
Here is more from the report:
The International Olympic Committee will make a final decision next August.
Eight sports from a total of 26 federations were shortlisted, with bowling, squash and wushu missing out.
"This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally," said a statement from the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.
Karate has never been contested at the Olympics. Judo, its fellow home-grown martial art, first joined in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Olympics, and was included from 1972 onwards.
Governing body: Says the sport, whose participants are 35% female, deserves a chance after unsuccessful bids to be a part of London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Selling point: "A sport with Japanese roots. Logistics of karate at an Olympic Games would appeal to the IOC as they would not need a specially-built venue and could take place over just three days."
As noted one of karate’s main advantages in getting a chance at the Olympics is it’s popularity in Japan and its ties to the country’s tradition.