Wrestling Wins Back 2020 Games Spot
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Wrestling completed an unprecedented Olympic comeback on Sunday (September 07), reclaiming its spot in the 2020 Olympic Games after beating bids from rivals squash and baseball/softball in an International Olympic Committee vote. An iconic Olympic sport, wrestling featured in the ancient Olympics as well as every modern Games apart from 1900. Yet it surprisingly lost its Olympic spot in February as the IOC looked to refresh its sports programme.

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SHOWS: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (SEPTEMBER 07, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. IOC VOTING ROOM 2. IOC PRESIDENT JACQUES ROGGE ANNOUNCING VOTE RESULT 3. WRESTLING DELEGATION CELEBRATING 4. DELEGATIONS LEAVING VOTING ROOM 5. BASEBALL FEDERATION LEAVING LEAVING VOTING ROOM 6. JAPANESE WRESTLING PRESIDENT TOMIAKI FUKADA CELEBRATING 7. FIFA PRESIDENT SEPP BLATTER LEAVING VOTING ROOM 8. HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATED WRESTLING STYLES (FILA), NENAD LALOVIC, WITH MEDIA 9. SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATED WRESTLING STYLES (FILA), NENAD LALOVIC, SAYING: "Of course. That was the question of our survival. We did all we could to change our sport, our federation, and to prepare a good presentation. We succeeded. It was a fair fight. We continue to work tomorrow morning. Next week, world championships in Budapest." 10. LALOVIC WITH MEDIA 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATED WRESTLING STYLES (FILA), NENAD LALOVIC, SAYING: "Wrestling is very developed in Japan and I think, we simply won. We had a fair competition with our competitors. We have done everything we could in six months. We prepared ourselves for this presentation and the result is here." 12. ACTOR AND WRESTLING SUPPORTER WILLIAM BALDWIN 13. IOC MEMBER RICHARD POUND GREETING WOMAN 14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC MEMBER, RICHARD POUND, SAYING: "I think that in the session today it was clear that the Executive Board had made a mistake in getting rid of wrestling and so they corrected that mistake. And now we are back to where we were before the process started with no new sports and I think that the new President will have to solve that problem." (Question from reporter) "The two (sports) that had been selected along with wrestling were baseball/softball joint federation and squash, both of which are terrific international sports, they scored very close to each other at the voting this time. So my guess is that with a host city like Tokyo for 2020 they can take both because they have baseball facilities already and squash facilities costs nothing. " 15. PEOPLE LEAVING VOTING ROOM STORY: Wrestling completed an unprecedented Olympic comeback on Sunday (September 07), reclaiming its spot in the 2020 Olympic Games after beating bids from rivals squash and baseball/softball in an International Olympic Committee vote. An iconic Olympic sport, wrestling featured in the ancient Olympics as well as every modern Games apart from 1900. Yet it surprisingly lost its Olympic spot in February as the IOC looked to refresh its sports programme. Sunday's (September 07) result marks a sensational turnaround for the sport which overhauled its rules, administration, gender equality and operations following its shock exclusion. "Of course. That was the question of our survival. We did all we could to change our sport, our federation, and to prepare a good presentation. We succeeded. It was a fair fight. We continue to work tomorrow morning. Next week, world championships in Budapest," said the head of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), Nenad Lalovic. The IOC had said in February, wrestling had failed to modernise, becoming complacent over decades amid waning interest. With wrestling's high-profile status in newly announced 2020 host city Tokyo, Lalovic told media FILA have been preparing months for their IOC presentation. "Wrestling is very developed in Japan and I think, we simply won. We had a fair competition with our competitors. We have done everything we could in six months. We prepared ourselves for this presentation and the result is here," added Lalovic. Wrestling is the first sport to earn back its Olympic place immediately, with all other returning events taking years or decades to make a comeback. The sport got 49 of 95 votes, with baseball/softball earning 24 and squash landing 22 votes from the IOC members. The result was crushing news for both of the others sports that have been trying to win a spot in the Games for as much as a decade. IOC member Richard Pound told Reuters that the Olympic body had corrected its mistake by voting the wrestling out of the Games, but added that Tokyo 2020 could also accommodate the inclusion of both baseball and squash. "I think that in the session today it was clear that the Executive Board had made a mistake in getting rid of wrestling and so they corrected that mistake. And now we are back to where we were before the process started with no new sports and I think that the new President will have to solve that problem." (Question from reporter) "The two (sports) that had been selected along with wrestling were baseball/softball joint federation and squash, both of which are terrific international sports, they scored very close to each other at the voting this time. So my guess is that with a host city like Tokyo for 2020 they can take both because they have baseball facilities already and squash facilities costs nothing, he said. Baseball and softball, Olympic sports until the 2008 Beijing Games, hoped for a return to the Olympic fold while squash, the only one not to have featured in the Olympics was making its third consecutive bid after 2005 and 2009.