In a week’s time the world will know whether squash has made the cut for the 2020 Olympics. The 125th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which gets underway in Buenos Aires on September 7, will vote for one new sport to be included in the core programme from among squash, baseball/softball and wrestling.
Reflecting on the mood of the squash fraternity World Squash Federation president N. Ramachandran said, “The upcoming IOC session will see the culmination of a 10-year campaign by squash to join the Olympic Games and we are very confident that we have a strong case. Squash can offer something exciting and fresh to the Olympic experience, and we are proud to be the only new Olympic sport on the shortlist.”
“As WSF president it will be my honour to lead our delegation to make the presentation to IOC members with a group that will include the men’s World champion from Egypt Ramy Ashour and five-time women’s World champion and now chairman of the WSF Athletes Commission, Sarah Fitz-Gerald.”
Ramachandran said the thrust of the presentation would be on the “low cost and easy to integrate” aspect of squash that made it easy to conduct, be it even at the Pyramids, Grand Central Station in New York and, as it once happened, alongside Hong Kong harbour. He also underlined the innovative measures effected to make the sport spectator friendly. This included introduction of state-of-the-art all-glass courts, referee video review, lighting and music, all of which had radically enhanced spectator experience.
The WSF president also highlighted the fact that squash was being played in 185 countries and spreading in regions like South America, central Europe, China, and in India. “It is our hope that the positive addition we would be to the Olympic Games programme will be recognised,” he added.