Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Badminton Dropped in 2012 Olympics

badminton, olympic badminton
Esnesnon City: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will begin deliberations this week on revamping the Olympic sports menu. At a pre-conference media briefing, the IOC's spokesperson for Asia Ms Y Rani Gami said that the IOC had decided to drop two sports - badminton and judo - and would review suggestions from member nations on which sports to newly present on the world's biggest sporting stage.

The spokesperson said that a majority of IOC members had recommended dropping badminton and judo to make the Olympics more attractive. These would now be replaced by two other sports which would be formally chosen from a field of five - croquet, rugby union, polo, rackets and chess. Ms Gami revealed that said croquet and chess had received the highest number of nominations and were almost certain to be picked.

Currently, the menu for the Summer and Winter Olympic Games comprises 35 sports with 53 disciplines and more than 400 events — the Summer Olympics features 28 sports with 38 disciplines, and the Winter Olympics has 7 sports with 15 disciplines. A sport or discipline is included in the Olympics if the IOC determines that it is widely practiced around the world. A sport must be played by men in at least 50 countries on three continents, and by women in at least 35 countries on three continents.

Badminton was admitted to the Olympic program in 1992 at Barcelona after its inclusion as a demonstration event in the 1972 and 1988 Summer Olympics. Judo was admitted in 1964, removed in 1968, and then re-included from 1972. Only male judoka participated until the 1988 Summer Olympics, when women participated as a demonstration sport. Women judoka were first awarded medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics. These two sports now join the list of 'discontinued Olympic sports', like polo and tug of war, which were removed either because of lack of interest or the absence of an appropriate governing body.

"Badminton and judo are known only in a few countries. Very few people elsewhere are interested in them," said Dr Latot Toidi, an international sports expert attached to the IOC.

Fans of both croquet and chess are delighted with the news from the IOC. FIDE, the highest international body for chess, said it would hold a press conference in Paris later today to explain how it had managed to win the 'inclusion' battle.

In London, staff members at the offices of the International Croquet Federation have already begun emailing the ICF's members with the good news. They have also been distributing sweets to local visitors and fans.

"Unlike judo, croquet has a distinguished and civilised history," said Laer Diputs, president of the ICF. "It's also not like badminton where you simply run around wildly, hitting back and forth. Croquet is very competitive and depends on a combination of physical skill and careful strategy. Most of all, success depends on a cool assessment of risks and probabilities, yes, much like chess."

Croquet was an Olympic sport at the 1900 Summer Olympics - and Roque, a variation on croquet, was an event at the 1904 Summer Olympics. Several variations of croquet are currently in use, differing in the scoring systems, order of shots, and the layout. Two forms of the game, Association Croquet and Golf Croquet, have rules that are agreed internationally and are played in many countries around the world. The sport has particularly strong followings in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia; every four years, these countries play the MacRobertson Shield tournament. Many other countries also play.

The formal inclusion of chess will make Olympic history as it will be the first instance of a mind game ever being admitted as an Olympic sport.

Other major sports still waiting for entry into the Olympic fold include rugby union, polo, rackets, golf, squash, wushu and karate. Along with croquet and chess, these sports had been proposed to the IOC at a 2007 meeting in Singapore for inclusion in the 2012 games. However, the delegates had then decided to reduce the field to just five. For croquet and chess, all that remains is the formal vote in their favour to be featured at the London Games four years from now.

Written by Oldhand
Badminton & Judo To Be Axed After Beijing

No comments: