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Wrestling reinstated to Olympic programme

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Announcement made in Buenos Aires. (©GettyImages)
Announcement made in Buenos Aires. (©GettyImages).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have reinstated wrestling as an Olympic sport for the 2020 and 2024 Games ahead of baseball/softball and squash after a vote in Buenos Aires.

Despite being one of the Ancient Olympics' original disciplines, the sport had been dropped from the 2020 Olympic programme in February after an IOC assessment following London 2012.

However, wrestling was voted back into the programme ahead of squash, and baseball and softball's joint bid, on Sunday following Saturday's announcement that Tokyo would host the 2020 Games.

As a result the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will not be the end of the sport's inclusion at the Games.

"I am so pleased that the pinnacle competition to which we all aspire is saved," English 2010 Commonwealth bronze medallist, Leon Rattigan, told the BBC.

"Wrestlers across the world continue to have something to work for."

Wrestling received a majority of 49 votes, with baseball/softball getting 24, and squash 22.

The reinstatement follows the overhauling of its rules, administration, gender equality and operations following its exclusion.

And the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles' President, Nenad Lalovic, insisted the IOC had made the right choice.

"With this vote, you have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference," he said.

"I assure each of you that our modernisation will not stop now.

"We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic Movement that we can be."

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