Tokyo 2020 have nominated eight sports for the next stage of their application process for Olympic inclusion ©Tokyo 2020

Baseball and softball, karate, squash, bowling, roller sports, climbing, surfing and wushu are the eight sports nominated for the next stage of the application process to be added to the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it has been announced this morning.

The decision, compiled from a list of 26 applicants, was made today following a meeting of the Tokyo's 2020 Additional Events Programme Panel in the Japanese capital chaired by the head of imaging giants Canon Fujio Mitarai.

The list holds few surprises, with baseball and softball long seen as the favourites to be restored to the Olympic programme follow their exclusion after Beijing 2008.

Squash, karate, roller sports, wushu and sport climbing, meanwhile, all applied in the initial inclusion process ultimately won by wrestling in 2013 following the controversial and ultimately short-lived decision taken earlier in the year to axe it after the Rio 2016 Games.

Surfing is included following an extensive marketing campaign, while bowling is the least expected addition, benefiting from its increased profile at other major multi-sport events such as the Asian Games.

Those 18 that have been unsuccessful consist of  air sports, american football, bowls, bridge, chess, dancesport, floorball, flying disc, korfball, netball, orienteering, polo, racquetball, snooker, sumo, tug of war, underwater sports and water skiing.

All eight federations will now progress to a second stage of the application process, which will include the submission of further details by July 22 before Briefings to organisers due to take place in Tokyo on August 7 and 8.

The nominations were compiled by an Additional Events Programme Panel chaired by Fujio Mitarai ©Tokyo 2020
The nominations were compiled by an Additional Events Programme Panel chaired by Fujio Mitarai ©Tokyo 2020

An unspecified number will then be proposed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in September, before a final decision is due to made by its membership at its Session in Rio de Janeiro in August of next year.

New sports must be a "driving force to promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal", it has been explained, while they must also "engage the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision".

No details have been released about the contents of each Federations applications, with no more information expected until September.

A major question considers the contents of roller skating's application, and whether it includes the discipline of skateboarding, which has been widely muted as a contender.

But it was not eligible to apply because neither of the Federations who recognise it - the International Skateboarding Federation or the World Skateboarding Federation - are recognised by the IOC. 

But, although the International Roller Skating Federation has said it is unable to provide further details at this stage, insidethegames understands that skateboarding and speed skating are the two disciplines suggested.

If successful, this is a move which would bear comparison with the integration of snowboarding within the International Ski Federation ahead of its Winter Olympic inclusion at Nagano 1998.

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