Fitzgerald Cecilio

St. Petersburg, Russia

Squash, baseball/softball and wrestling made it to the shortlist of candidates for possible inclusion as an additional sport for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board selected the three sports by secret ballot from a list of eight that also included karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.

The vote followed 30-minute presentations by each international federation and an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Program Commission to determine their potential added value to the Games.

The full IOC membership will meet for the 125th Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 7 to 10 and vote on which of the three sports to add to the program of the 2020 Olympics in addition to the 25 core sports, plus golf and rugby sevens.

Golf and rugby sevens were added in 2009 as additional sports to the 2016 Olympic program.

"The Executive Board received excellent presentations from eight International Federations," said IOC President Jacques Rogge. "It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the Board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires."

"I wish the three shortlisted sports the best of luck in the run-up to the vote in September and would like to thank the other sports for their hard work and dedication," he added.

The Olympic Program Commission reviews every sport following each edition of the Games, using 39 criteria to determine a sport's suitability, including youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values.

In the past, squash has failed to impress the IOC during its previous attempts, with campaigns to be included at London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 falling on deaf ears.

"This is a great day for squash as it takes us one step closer to realizing our long-held ambition to join the Olympic Games," Malaysia's seven-time world champion Nicol David said in a statement following the announcement.

Wrestling was given a reprieve after it was dropped from the program in February while baseball and softball were axed after the 2008 Games but have since streamlined their competitions in order to win back favor.

Squash, Baseball/Softball and Wrestling Make 2020 Olympic Games Shortlist