The future is bright for wushu, or so vice-president of the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) Anthony Tengkoi Goh, has claimed.
Wushu, also referred to as kung fu, is the collective term for the martial art practices that originated and developed in China, with many forms of the art now practised both in China and around the globe.
Since the IWUF's establishment in 1990, during the Asian Games in Beijing, the martial art has become a global sport, with competitive Championships set up on all five continents, including World Championships and inclusion in the SportAccord World Combat Games.
The IWUF saw an attempt for Olympic inclusion rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) just last year, when wrestling was reinstated onto the programme during an IOC Executive Board meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Although an obvious disappointment for the IWUF, Goh remained confident that his - and wushu's - dream of becoming a core sport on the Olympic programme will come to fruition at some point in the future.
"Of course it is our dream to make it as an official sport at the Olympic Games and we have done everything to make this reality," he said.
"In general I think that in the past few years we have picked up our speed and are getting closer to getting on the official sports programme.
"I'm not saying we are perfect but we have made very good attempts.
"We will still work on it but I think it's in the right direction for inclusion in Olympic programme.
"The future is bright."
A tournament is being held from Friday (August 22) to Sunday (August 24) in the Gaochun region here in an effort to showcase the sport to a global audience during these Games.
Around 100 athletes from 35 countries and regions have made the trip to China for the tournament which will include both sanda (sparring) and taolu (routine-based) events.
The tournament was first introduced at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing at the discretion of the IOC, despite the sport not being an official demonstration sport during the Games.
The tournament helped give wushu a huge global boast with IWUF memberships increasing from 116 to 149 countries following the conclusion of Beijing 2008.
IOC President Thomas Bach will be on hand to present the first gold medal of the tournament, while IOC honorary President Jacques Rogge, allegedly a big admirer of the sport, will award medal on the final day (August 24).
Bach's agenda 2020 will be a critical turning point for wushu in its efforts to join the Olympic programme, according to Goh, who believes the expansion of the Olympic programme, which currently allows just 28 sports at any Summer Games, will give the sport a much greater chance to gain inclusion in the future.
"The main challenge for wushu for inclusion in the Olympic Games is that for the Summer Olympic Games the sports are limited to only 28," he said.
"As you understand, in the last two Games we discussed with other federations and showed that we tried hard to include wushu in 2020 as an official event.
"We hope in future [the IOC] changes the Games rules to allow for more sports, so we really hope that wushu will be part and parcel of the Olympic Games.
"The IOC is deliberating on the sports programme for the next summer Olympic Games and I think through our efforts in 2008 in the wushu tournament that we have made significant progress of wushu internationally."
Wushu is one of four demonstration sports here at Nanjing 2014, alongside climbing, roller skating and skateboarding.
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