Wrestling expects to make Olympic shortlist

Wrestling expects to make an International Olympic Committee shortlist of candidate sports for the 2020 Games as it battles to restore its Olympic presence, international federation (Fila) president Nenad Lalovic said.

“We of course expect to be in the shortlist,” the Serbian said in a telephone interview before his departure for the IOC executive board meeting in Russia this week.
“We don’t have guarantees but we will go to compete like on the mat and the best will win.”
The IOC surprisingly dropped wrestling from the list of core sports for the 2020 Games in February, forcing it to join seven other candidate sports that will battle it out for the one vacant spot when the IOC session votes in Buenos Aires in September.
The eight contenders will be reduced on Wednesday when the IOC announces a shortlist after brief presentations from the candidate sports. The IOC has not said how many will be short-listed.
The sport’s exclusion triggered an angry backlash from the wrestling fraternity with several athletes returning their Olympic medals and some senior IOC members openly disagreeing with the decision.
Lalovic, who took over from Swiss Raphael Martinetti after the IOC axing, has led a frantic effort by the sport to improve conditions for a swift return to the Olympic fold. The federation has approved more categories for women, eliminated draws and cut down on the number of competitors, as the sport, part of all-modern Olympics from 1896 — apart from 1900 — bids to return to the Olympic fold.

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