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Squash makes initial Olympic pitch via Zoom meeting with Los Angeles 2028 after being confirmed for 2026 Commonwealth Games

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

Squash is among nine sports making an initial pitch this week to the Organising Committee for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

According to the influential Inside The Games website, virtual presentations are being made by the nine International Federations who made the LA28 shortlist.

Squash is up against rivals bids from motorsport, cricket, karate, baseball and softball, lacrosse, breaking, kickboxing, and American football.

The report states that sports on the shortlist will need to meet certain criteria outlined by LA28 and the IOC, in areas such as environmental sustainability, universality, gender equality, integrity and fairness, popularity and host country interest, athlete safety and cost and complexity.

Squash has already made its initial presentation but the World Squash Federation has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the IOC not to discuss any of the details.

Squash is expected to have underscored the strides made in gender equality leading to equal prize money on the PSA World Tour, with Egypt’s women’s world No.1 Nouran Gohar the highest-earning athlete in the last year.

The WSF has always proposed that an Olympic squash tournament would be relatively inexpensive to stage, and that the sport would donate an all-glass showcourt to be used for the event itself and ongoing legacy projects.

Egypt’s success at the top of the senior male and female levels, and an extraordinary dominance at nearly every age group in junior circles, is also a major plus point for the sport, revealing the impact squash is capable of making in many neighbouring Muslim nations where females suffer from human rights abuses and are often banned from participating in sports.

A maximum of 32 players in each of the men’s and women’s draws is understood to be part of the bid, with doubles unlikely to form part of the pitch.

Squash was once again well supported at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the sport’s inclusion in the 2026 Games in Victoria, Australia, was confirmed this week.

Several months ago the Commonwealth Games Federation announced that swimming and track and field would be the only two core sports guaranteed a place at future events, with decisions on the inclusion of other sports being made by the local organising teams.

Squash had already been rubber-stamped and this week’s statement from the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games mentioned that it will feature 20 sports and 26 disciplines, including nine fully integrated Para sports.

Golf, 3×3 Basketball, 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball, Coastal Rowing, Shooting, Shooting Para Sport, BMX Racing, Mountain Bike Cross Country, Track Cycling and Para Cycling Track have been added to the line-up, while Coastal Rowing, Golf, and BMX will make a Commonwealth Games debut.

This week’s Olympic presentations are a key stage in the process by which Los Angeles 2028 is expected to propose additional sports for final approval at the next IOC Session.

This will be staged in Mumbai but has been delayed until September or October next year because of governance issues at the Indian Olympic Association.

Inside The Games further reports: “It is expected that e-karting, which was a demonstration sport at the 2018 Youth Olympics, is to be put forward by the International Automobile Federation, while the International Federation of American Football is seeking to have flag football join the Olympic programme.”

With thanks to Inside The Games

Picture courtesy of World Squash Federation 

 

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