7 Sep 2013

Wrestlers prey for Olympic reinstatement

2:32 pm on 7 September 2013

The future of wrestling, which has featured in both the ancient and modern Olympic Games, is under threat if it fails to win a place on the roster of sports for the 2020 Games,

The head of the sport's world governing body, Nenad Lalovic, has led the campaign to have wrestling reinstated since the 15-member executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took the shock decision to drop it in February.

Wrestling now faces competition from squash -- on its third try to become an Olympic sport -- and a joint bid of softball/baseball in Sunday's vote by all the IOC members in Buenos Aires.

Serbian Lalovic has spearheaded sweeping reforms in the short space of time since he was elected to run the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles after the earlier IOC decision.

They include making wrestling more television friendly, transforming it into a sport where aggressive rather than defensive ability is rewarded and making women part of the decision-making process.

IOC members including vice-president Thomas Bach -- the favourite to succeed outgoing IOC president Jacques Rogge on September 10 -- have praised the reforms.