IOC adds five sports to Tokyo 2020 program

Updated: 2016-08-04 14:06


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IOC adds five sports to Tokyo 2020 program

A skateboarder carries the Olympic flame in front of Ipiranga Museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 24, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Skateboarding, surfing, sports climbing, karate and baseball/softball will be added to the Olympic program at the Tokyo 2020 Games under plans to give the quadrennial event a fresh look.

The new sports, proposed in June, were confirmed by a unanimous vote at the 129th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

The sports will make a one-off appearance as part of new rules that allow hosts to choose sports that attract their local audience.

"This will help make the Tokyo Games one of the most innovative Games in history," IOC vice president John Coates said.

Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori added: "I am so happy and so thrilled and I may have lost some of my composure."

Baseball and softball, which will feature six teams each, will return to the Olympic program for the first time since the Beijing 2008 Games. It is yet to be decided if US Major League players will be allowed to compete.

Surfing will include 20 competitors in both the men's and women's categories. The events are expected to be held at the Prefecture of Chiba.

Tokyo will host skateboarding, which will comprise two street and two park competitions with 20 male and 20 female participants.

The Nippon Budokan, Japan's martial arts headquarters, will stage karate, expected to be divided into kata and kumite events.

There will be five sports climbing competitions involving some 474 athletes.