LAUSANNE: Wrestling was in a state of shock after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a surprise recommendation yesterday to drop the sport from the 2020 Games.
Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling will now join seven other candidate sports battling for one spot in a revamped programme.
It is unlikely, however, that it will get a reprieve when the IOC session in Buenos Aires votes on the recommendation in September.
The vote came as a major surprise after other sports, including modern pentathlon and taekwondo, were seen as at risk of losing out due to their lower global appeal.
While pentathlon and taekwondo have the support of senior IOC members, wrestling is not strongly represented in the IOC's decision-making body.
IOC sources told Reuters that in the secret ballot there were four sports battling to avoid the cut: field hockey, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and wrestling.
The IOC said 25 of the 26 Olympic sports were elected as core sports for the 2020 Games which will also include rugby and golf, making their first appearance in 2016.