22 Jun 2015

Tug of War misses out on Olympic comeback

5:31 pm on 22 June 2015

Baseball and softball top the shortlist of sports competing for a spots as additional attractions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics along with homegrown favourite karate.

Bowling, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, surfing and wushu were also included on the list, whittled down by a committee from the 26 sports which applied for inclusion earlier this month.

Great Britain Defeat Sweden at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912.

Tug of War which was competed at the Olympics between 1900-1920, has missed out on making a return for Tokyo in 2020. Here Great Britain beat Sweden at the Stockholm Games in 1912. Photo: Supplied

As part of reforms initiated by International Olympic Committee, Games hosts have the chance to bring in one or more sports popular in their country to boost ratings and attract greater sponsorship.

Organisers had previously said they would also prefer sports that were already popular in Japan so new venues would not need to be built and add to already ballooning costs.

Baseball and softball, united under the World Baseball Softball Confederation, are strong favourites to return to the Olympics for the first time since Asia last hosted the Summer Games, in Beijing in 2008.

Karate has never been contested at the Olympics.

Judo, its fellow homegrown martial art, first joined in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Summer Olympic games, and was included from 1972 onwards.

Shortlisted sports federations will now make presentations to Tokyo 2020 organisers, with a decision on which sports will be presented to the International Olympic Committee due at the end of September.

A final decision will be made in August 2016.

Other sports bidding to take part had included tug of war, bridge, chess, sumo wrestling, billiards and orienteering.