Squash hopes third time's the charm for Olympic inclusion
Squash players are hoping that third time's the charm when they find out today whether the sport will be included in the Olympics.
The executive board of the International Olympic Committee is meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, and will announce a shortlist from eight candidate sports that are vying for inclusion in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
They are baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding, wrestling and wushu.
Squash failed to win inclusion for last year and 2016.
"We are quite confident of the prospects this time," said Hong Kong Squash chairman David Mui Ying-yuen, who is also the president of the sport's Asian Federation.
"We heard from the international federation that our sport has a pretty good chance as one of the sports to be recommended in St Petersburg before the IOC makes its final selection later in the year."
The board will recommend at least one sport among the eight to the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires in September for inclusion.
Squash, karate and wrestling are likely to be named, Mui says.
Wrestling had been an Olympic sport since the modern Games resumed in Athens in 1896, but the IOC dropped it at its last meeting in February.
"Squash is practised by millions from 185 countries … and it's a true world sport," said Mui. "But still, the Olympic Games are always the focus, and inclusion in the Games means a huge step forward for the sport, especially for youngsters who will come into the game."