2020 Olympics expansion may mean more spots for S'pore

At least 15 international sport federations have proposed new events and disciplines for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, according to website Inside the Games.
At least 15 international sport federations have proposed new events and disciplines for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, according to website Inside the Games.PHOTO: REUTERS

The prospect of an expanded Olympics programme in 2020 was hailed by local sports officials, who see more opportunities for local athletes to qualify for sport's biggest meet.

According to website Inside the Games, which reports on major sporting meets, at least 15 international sport federations have proposed new events and disciplines for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

World swimming body Fina, for instance, has reportedly proposed 10 new swimming events - the 50m races in breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke, the men's 800m freestyle, women's 1500m free and the 4x100m free and 4x100m medley mixed relays.

The International Table Tennis Federation, meanwhile, have requested for the men's and women's doubles, as well as the mixed doubles, to be included.

These proposals were believed to be tabled last week at the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Singapore Table Tennis Association chief executive officer Wong Hui Leng welcomed the move. She said yesterday: "This is good news for the sport. By adding the doubles and mixed doubles events at the upcoming Olympics, this will provide more opportunities for our paddlers to qualify and win Olympics medals for Singapore."

Apart from more swimming events, Fina have also pitched for the inclusion of high diving and mixed duet synchronised swimming events, as well as an increase in the number of water polo teams from eight to 12.

A Singapore Swimming Association spokesman said: "We are supportive of the Fina proposals as it allows for more Olympic participation. We will await the final decision from the IOC (International Olympic Committee)."

Other sports to have submitted requests for more events include basketball, whose governing body Fiba proposed a three-on-three event with two 16-team competitions .

Boxing has also reportedly proposed two new female weight classes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2017, with the headline '2020 Olympics expansion may mean more spots for S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe