By Tom Degun in St Kitts and Nevis

Mary Kom_boxingNovember 12 - Women's sport has received a major boost after both boxing and rugby sevens were voted onto the Commonwealth Games sports programme as optional sports while the other big winners were the triathlon mixed relay and beach volleyball.

The four sports were officially voted onto the sports programme by the 70 Commonwealth nations and territories in attendance here at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly following recommendations from the CGF Sports Review Committee.

The disciplines are all category two, optional sports rather than compulsory sports for Organising Committees but they could appear as early as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow are set to consider adding the sports to their programme in the near future but it is perhaps more likely that they will appear at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with the Australian city having shown a particular enthusiasm to include the mixed triathlon relay.

Prince Imran, the newly elected CGF President and chairman of the Sports Review Committee, claimed that he was very pleased with the new editions to the programme.

"It is fundamental that our sports programme continues to evolve in such a way as to sustain the Commonwealth Games pre-eminent status as a multi-sports event," he told insidethegames.

"Equity and equality are fundamental Commonwealth values; this is why it is natural and right that we keep our sports programme under constant review.

"This is not just to ensure its relevance, but to ensure we keep athletes – men and women, both abled and disabled, as the focus of everything we do."

There was approval for continuing the very positive on-going dialogue with the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding bringing 20/20 cricket into the Commonwealth Games which the new CGF President said was a major priority for his organisation.

"Cricket is synonymous with the Commonwealth and it belongs in the Commonwealth Games," said Prince Imran, an Executive Board Member of the ICC from 1997 to 1999 and again from 2001 to 2008.

"The CGF will be talking to the ICC, and the cricketing authorities of Commonwealth countries, on the best route to bring 20/20 cricket into future editions.

"This would be enormously popular with both fans and cricketers.

"It would mean Caribbean countries could compete under their own flag.

"It would be a fantastic tournament."

The list of category one, compulsory sports remains unaltered with aquatics/swimming, athletics, badminton, men's boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, women's netball, men's rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting still in place.

The CGF's Sports Review Committee also recommended that work continue with International Federations and sports governing bodies to ensure sports were as attractive to competitors, spectators and broadcasters as possible.

For example, World Bowls will be encouraged to review the short form competition undertaken in the Australian League with a view to adopting this form at the Commonwealth Games.

In addition, it has recommended that the maximum number of entries per CGA per event for judo and wrestling will be set at two per weight category, so long as the total number of athletes entered from a CGA does not exceed the number of events available to bring the sports in line with weightlifting.

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