Surfing: seducing Tokyo 2020 with the artificial wave dream | Photo: Wavegarden

Softball, bowling, karate, roller sports (includes skateboarding), climbing, surfing and wushu. These eight sports have been shortlisted for potential inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Japan.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee announced the names of the eight IOC-recognised International Federations (IFs) that may get their sport showcased at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

"The most important factors were: Does the sport have the support of the younger generation and how big is the population of the sport worldwide?", explained Fujio Mitarai, honorary president of the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"There was no objections. It was decided unanimously. One thing I can say is that they're popular among young people. Many are engaged in them globally."

The eight shortlisted IFs are:
1. World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC)
2. World Bowling (WB)
3. World Karate Federation (WKF)
4. International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS)
5. International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)
6. World Squash Federation (WSF)
7. International Surfing Association (ISA)
8. International Wushu Federation (IWUF)

All eight governing bodies are invited to submit further details and participate in personal interviews to convince the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the relevance of their sports to the Olympic Movement.

"This is a significant milestone for our sport and gives us further motivation and resolve to make our Olympic dream become a reality. With its youthful values and engagement, surfing has incredible global appeal and a unique and modern blend of high performance, style and culture – traits which we believe would add huge value to Tokyo 2020," said Fernando Aguerre, the ISA president.

"We are energised and excited to present our case and to demonstrate how surfing is aligned with Tokyo 2020’s core vision as the most innovative Games ever. With the new, cost-effective surf parks that are revolutionising our sport, we are confident that this is the perfect time for surfing to step up to the greatest sporting stage."

The Japanese panel will make a decision on the event(s) to be proposed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in September 2015. The final decision will be made at the 129th IOC Session, in Rio de Janeiro, in August 2016.

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