Wushu "disappointed" but "not completely surprised" by Tokyo 2020 failure

The International Wushu Federation (IWUF) was “disappointed” but “not completely surprised” after the sport it governs missed out on a recommendation to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic programme, executive vice-president Anthony Goh has said.

Wushu was one of three sports cut from the proposed additions earlier this week along with bowling and squash.

Baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were the five selected, with a final decision due at next summer's International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Rio de Janeiro.

"When we heard the results from the Tokyo 2020 Committee we were disappointed although not completely surprised," Goh told insidethegames.

"The seven sports we were competing with all had strong attributes, but we feel wushu has risen to the level of world-class sport.

"We will continue our efforts towards inclusion [at] the Olympic Games and we feel very optimistic that 2024 will be wushu’s year.

"Wushu is developing rapidly around the world now, and our newly-launched social media campaign will undoubtedly give our sport a digital potential to reach a new generation."

Wushu’s latest disappointment follows its failure to make the final shortlist in the first Tokyo 2020 bidding process, which culminated in wrestling retaining its place on the Olympic sports programme with a clear-cut victory at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

Owing to its cultural significance in China, the IOC allowed organisers of the Beijing 2008 Olympics to hold a wushu tournament in parallel with the Games, despite the sport not being an official demonstration sport.

The tournament helped give wushu a huge global boost with IWUF membership increasing from 116 to 149 countries following the conclusion of the Games. 

Wushu was one of four demonstration sports at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, alongside climbing, roller skating and skateboarding.