Pakistan wrestling chief hails reinstatement of sport at Olympics

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Wrestling Federation Syed Aqil Shah has hailed the decision of International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics.

“It is a historic decision in the 2,000-year history of wrestling. Remaining on the Olympic programme was necessary for the survival of game,” he told APP on Monday.

A secret balloting by the IOC in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday put wrestling back in the programme, while base-ball and squash remained unable to earn the spot. In the first round of voting, wrestling secured 49. While baseball-softball got 24 votes and squash received 22.

“The games would have been incomplete without the ancient sport of wrestling,” Aqil said.

The Pakistan wrestling chief also lauded the efforts of President International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Nenad Lalovi to revamp the organization and reshape the sport to save its Olympic status. He Lalovi had taken numerous steps which would help make the sport more spectacular and watchable in the days to come.

“Wrestling is not a new game in Olympics but after its revamping during the past six months it will be a new kind of sport,” he added.

“It is pleasing for all of us as that the wrestling will not only be present in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but will also be seen in 2024 Summer Olympics,” Aqil maintained.