May 28 - Wrestling has secured a winning 42.2 per cent of votes on the insidethegames poll asking the public to vote for the sport they think the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should vote to include on the Olympic programme for 2020.
The sport garnered 135,067 of the 319,944 total votes, and was followed by squash with 102,388 votes, which translates to 32 per cent, and karate with 52,565 – 16.4 per cent.
Next came the joint bid between baseball and softball, which secured 4.7 per cent, 15,121 votes; sport climbing with 2.2 per cent, 7,123 votes; roller sports with 1.7 per cent, 5,415 votes; wushu with 0.4 per cent, 1,353 votes; and wakeboarding with 0.3 per cent, 912 votes.
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) President Nenad Lalovic welcomed the results, saying it was indicative of the global sporting community's backing of the sport for re-inclusion in the Olympic programme after it was controversially dropped from the Games after Rio 2016.
"The results of the insidethegames poll reflect the great support of the international sport community for wrestling," the Serb explained.
"This support comes not just from the wrestling sports family but from people who practice all kinds of sport.
"This entire experience helped wrestling improve and it also increased our visibility around the world.
"We are encouraged by all the messages of support we are receiving and this poll result is a great example.
"We remain hopeful that the decision of the Executive Board here at SportAccord [International Convention] will be one more step towards our goal: improve wrestling and remain part of the Olympic programme."
The eight bidding sports will present to the IOC Executive Board at its meeting tomorrow, which takes place during the SportAccord International Convention in St Petersburg, before the Board makes a decision on which of the sports to recommend for inclusion.
The IOC will then vote on whether to include one of the sports in the 2020 Olympic programme on September 8 this year at its 125th Session in Buenos Aires.
To see the full results click here.
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