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Tokyo 2020 event programme to see major boost for female participation, youth and urban appeal

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the event programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The decision marks a key milestone in the evolution of the Olympic programme by introducing youth and urban innovations, significantly improving gender equality, and reducing the overall number of athletes hence reducing the Games’ footprint.

 

Commenting on the decision, IOC President Thomas Bach said at Friday’s press conference:

The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic programme. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.

 

The EB decision will lead to a net increase of 15 events, an overall reduction of 285 athletes from Rio 2016, and the highest representation of female athletes in Olympic history. In Tokyo, the number of mixed events will double from nine in Rio 2016 to 18. All new events will make use of existing venues.

 

This decision marks a significant step towards achieving the 50 per cent gender balance at the Olympic Games in both athletes and events, as clearly stated by Olympic Agenda 2020.

 

 

Four new International Federations (IFs) will move to gender-balanced in events for the first time (Canoe, Rowing, Shooting and Weightlifting). In terms of athletes, six IFs will move to gender balance for the first time (Canoe, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting and Weightlifting). At discipline level, gender balance is achieved in BMX Racing, Mountain Bike and Freestyle Wrestling.

 

The programme also includes youth-focused and urban-based additions such as Basketball 3×3 and BMX Freestyle, on top of Sport Climbing and Skateboarding. Basketball 3×3 was a successful innovation at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014. Sport Climbing and Skateboarding were proposed along with Baseball/Softball, Karate, and Surfing by Tokyo 2020 last year.

 

The next edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, which will take place in Buenos Aires in October 2018, will already feature BMX Freestyle, Karate and Sport Climbing, as well as several new innovative urban sports, such as Breakdance and Roller Sports.

 

The review process for the Tokyo 2020 programme started in Rio 2016, where comprehensive data were collected for the first time at event level, giving IFs unparallelled insight into the overall performance of their sports, disciplines and events at the Olympic Games. Concurrently, IFs were invited to submit their requests for changes to their events, athlete quotas and competition formats to the IOC by February 2017.

 

Having reviewed the proposals in full, the Olympic Programme Commission met on 5 May and made a number of recommendations to the IOC EB. Based on these recommendations, the EB took the following decision regarding new events in Tokyo:

 

EVENTS – Additions unless specified
Events
Sport Event #
Aquatics (Swimming) 800m (M) & 1500m (W) +2
4x100m Medley Mixed Relay +1
Archery Mixed Team Event +1
Athletics 4x400m Mixed Relay +1
Basketball 3×3 (M/W) +2
Boxing Transfer of two men’s events to two women’s events 0
Canoe Transfer of three men’s events to three women’s events 0
Cycling (BMX) BMX Freestyle Park (M/W) +2
Cycling (Track) Madison (M/W) +2
Fencing Team Events (M/W) +2
Judo Mixed Team Event +1
Rowing Transfer of one men’s event to one women’s event 0
Sailing Transfer of Mixed Multihull to Mixed Foiling Multihull 0
Shooting Transfer of three men’s events to mixed events 0
Table Tennis Mixed Doubles +1
Triathlon Mixed Team Relay +1
Weightlifting Reduction of one  men’s weight category -1
TOTAL (net) +15

 

Tokyo 2020 was consulted throughout the process and gave its agreement on the principles applied to the review of all events. Together with the IOC, it was agreed that there should be minimal impact on additional venues and athletes, and on the overall competition schedule.

 

The EB also approved the recommendations of the Programme Commission with regard to the athlete numbers by sport – as follows:

 

Athletes – Additions, transfers and reductions
Athletes quotas
Sport Event #
Aquatics (Water Polo) Reduction in Water Polo team size, addition of two women’s Water Polo teams -18
Aquatics (Swimming) Reduction of 22 athletes -22
Athletics Reduction of 105 athletes -105
Basketball Inclusion of 3×3 with 8 teams for each gender, +64 athletes (32W/32M) +64
Boxing Transfer of 44 athletes from men to women 0
Canoe Transfer of 55 athletes to reach gender balance 0
Cycling (BMX Racing) Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance 0
Cycling (MTB) Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance in MTB, transfer of 4 male athletes to BMX Freestyle 0
Cycling (Road) Transfer of 14 men to BMX Freestyle 0
Judo Transfer of 38 athletes to reach gender balance 0
Rowing Reduction of 24 athletes and reach gender balance -24
Sailing Reduction of 30 athletes and reach gender balance -30
Shooting Reduction of 30 athletes and reach gender balance -30
Weightlifting Reduction of 64 athletes and reach gender balance -64
Wrestling Reduction of 56 athletes across all disciplines and gender balance in Freestyle Wrestling -56
TOTAL -285

 

The full programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is available here.

 

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