One Olympic sport is set to learn this month that its Games future is in jeopardy when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meets to decide the shape of the summer Games from 2020.
The IOC’s executive board, meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13, will pick a core of 25 summer Olympic sports that will be put to a single vote at their session in Argentina in September.
The organization will recommend one sport to be cut from the original list of 26. Rugby union and golf, which are being added to the Games from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, will not be part of the process.
The decisions of the executive board will need to be ratified by the session in Buenos Aires, but it is unlikely that the board’s recommendation would be overturned.
There are seven candidate sports for a place on the program, with baseball and softball, off the Games since Beijing in 2008, making a joint bid for re-entry.
Chinese martial arts sport wushu, sport climbing, roller sports, squash, karate and wakeboarding are also in the running for an Olympic spot.
The sport recommended by this month’s meeting to be dropped will automatically become a candidate sport, with the IOC then recommending one of the eight bidding sports for inclusion at their board meeting in late May in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Several Olympic sports are reportedly at greater risk, with modern pentathlon and taekwondo among those often mentioned.
Modern pentathlon, introduced by the founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, seems to have most mentions when it comes to dropping a sport.
Taekwondo is seen by some as a less popular martial arts alternative to karate.