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Squash Presents its case to the IOC

Official Release
By Howard Harding

The bid by Squash to get onto the Olympic Games programme for 2016 took a step forward today (Friday) when a World Squash Federation delegation offered the credentials of the sport to the Olympic Programme Commission in Lausanne.

The seven sports vying for the two probable spots are baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens and softball, along with squash - each of which gave a one-hour presentation.

The Squash team, headed by IOC member Tunku Imran, himself a former WSF President, featured two past presidents, Susie Simcock and Jahangir Khan, along with newly-elected WSF President Mr N Ramachandran. Australia’s record five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald and WSF Technical Director Andrew Shelley completed the group.

The presentation highlighted that Squash is a sport for our time: A sport giving great competitive exercise in a short time period, which has strong national federations and features development initiatives all the way from local level to elite.

The sport is already featured in every major international multi-sport Games, except for the Olympics. It has uniform scoring, is drug-free - and competing in the Olympics would be the pinnacle of the career of any squash player.

The IOC Commission, which included a number of IOC members, was also told that Squash has had world champions from all regions, as well as around 150 national federations belonging to the world body.

Mr Ramachandran, who with outgoing President Jahangir Khan had paid a courtesy visit to IOC President Jacques Rogge the day before, was upbeat after the session.

“The questions we were asked indicated a full understanding of our sport, and an interest in details of our structure. They now know even more clearly what we stand for, our strengths and everything positive that we believe we could bring to the Olympic programme in 2016.”