POSTED: August 13th 2009

Golf and rugby win fight for right to seek IOC votes for 2016 Olympics

The IOC Executive Board / Image: IOC/Juilliart
The IOC Executive Board / Image: IOC/Juilliart

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

BERLIN: Golf and rugby union sevens have every prospect of returning to the Olympic Games after 112 years and 92 years respectively after a fascinating bidding campaign edged towards a close here in Berlin today.

These two sports emerged carrying seals of approval from the executive board of the International Olympic Committee meeting in the German capital just ahead of the world athletics championships. Another decision saw women's boxing included in the London 2012 programme.

The decision to send the lucky two sports - out of seven hopefuls - forward to a vote of the full International Olympic Committee in October was made by the executive board on a recommendation from the programme commission.

Voting was carried out by secret ballot and through an elimination process with the sport gaining the least votes falling out, round by round. IOC president Jacques Rogge, as is his custom on all such issues, withheld his vote.

Over the past six months the commission had heard and studied submissions from all seven bid sports which also included baseball, karate, roller sports, softball and squash. It had also sent representatives to a major international event from each sport's calendar.

Majorities needed

It is not guaranteed that golf and rugby will participate in the Games of 2016 in Chicago or Madrid or Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo. A simple majority vote on each sport is needed in October when the two ballots will take place following the selection of the 2016 host city.

Rogge, who praised the dilgent manner in which the programme commission had undertaken its assessments, said: "The sports will each be voted separately and in alphabetical order. No announcement will be made about the result of the first vote until after the second vote has taken place. Then the results will be announced together."

He was clearly satisfied with the outcome of the votes, saying: "All seven sports madse a strong case for inclusion but in the end the decision came down to which two would add the most value.

"Golf and rugby, if confirmed, would be great additions to the Games. They scored highly on all the criteria: they have global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of iconic athletes and an ethos which stresses fairplay."

Picture above right: IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge / Image: IOC/Juilliart 

Keywords · IOC · bid sports · 2016 Olympic Games · Berlin · programme commission

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