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IOC votes to include wrestling in Olympic Games as provisional sport

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Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

It was a long, tense battle to save the sport, but it appears to have worked as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted Sunday to include wrestling as a provisional sport for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.

Wrestling needed 48 votes from IOC members to be reinstated. It received 49 votes while baseball/softball earned 24. Squash came in third with 22 votes.

Earlier in the morning at the IOC meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Olympic governing body voted to exclude wrestling as part of the 25 core sports, a move not unexpected by most observers of the process. That left wrestling's chances of being included as a function of being reintroduced as a provisional sport for the 2020 and 2024 Games.

All three sport's representatives made their presentations with wrestling going last among them. In the end, it was wrestling, with it's nod toward its history, but insistence on a focus on the future, gender equity and transformation that won the day.

The future of Olympic wrestling had been in question since February when the executive board of the IOC recommended the sport be dropped from the list of 25 core sports for the Summer Games. That forced the sport and it's governing body, FILA, to make sweeping management, rule and presentation changes.