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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
New sports hoping for Olympic nod
Could roller blading get voted into the Olympics?
Could roller blading get voted into the Olympics?
Baseball and softball have been dropped from the Olympic programme for the 2012 Games in London.

Their places will go to squash, golf, rugby, karate or roller skating, with International Olympic Committee members voting on Saturday.

BBC Sport looks at the five sports which could replace them.

THE HOPEFULS

RUGBY UNION

HISTORY

Rugby featured in four Olympics at the start of the 20th Century with the United States winning the last gold medal in a 15-a-side version of the game in 1924.

OLYMPIC SPORTS INCLUDED SINCE 1992
Badminton 1992
Baseball 1992
Judo (women) 1992
Softball 1996
Beach volleyball 1996
Football (women) 1996
Mountain biking 1996
Triathlon 2000
Taekwondo 2000
Modern pentathlon (women) 2000
Water polo (women) 2000
Weightlifting (women) 2000
Trampoline 2000
Freestyle wrestling (women) 2004

England's victory in the World Cup in 2003, has raised the sport's profile in the host country.

EVENTS PROPOSED

Sevens competition, men's tournament with 12 teams and 144 competitors.

WHAT THEY SAY

"We would sell out Twickenham, Wembley or the new athletics stadium and it would create up to or maybe more than 10 million of revenue.

"Would we benefit the Olympics? The answer is yes. Are we stronger than some of the current Olympic sports? Yes again, " International rugby board chairman Syd Millar.

ROLLER SKATING

HISTORY

The lowest profile sport of the five hopefuls but officials hope that inclusion in the Olympics will raise their popularity worldwide.

It is currently included in the Pan American and World Games but its ruling body has low membership in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

EVENTS PROPOSED

Four men's and four women's events on either track or road with 36 athletes taking part in each.

THEY SAY

"Roller skating has arrived to this important judgment at the top of its performances, in a perfect shape and with a highly competitive project for the insertion in the Olympic programme," Federation Internationale de Roller Sports president Sabatino Aracu.

KARATE

The sport is hoping to become the latest martial art to be involved in the Olympics, which also has taekwondo and judo.

Karate has yet to make an appearance in the Olympics and according to the World Karate Federation, there are more people involved in the sport compared to the other two disciplines.

EVENTS PROPOSED:

Nine men's and three women's events with 12 athletes competing in each weight category.

WHAT THEY SAY:

"Karate is a sport for the ordinary people, very easy to practice and with a very strong educational background, accessible to all socio-economical levels," World Karate Federation president Antonio Espinos.

SQUASH

HISTORY

Squash has never been involved in the Olympics before but has been lobbying hard for more than 20 years to be included.

The sport made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur and has recently tried to make the sport more accessible to the crowd and television, with transparent courts.

EVENTS PROPOSED

Two events, men's and women's singles with 32 competitors in each tournament.

WHAT THEY SAY

"It's really surprising we haven't been there before, particularly as we fulfil all the criteria. If I could help achieve this for the next generation of squash players, it would be my proudest moment." Squash legend and World Squash Federation president Jahangir Khan.

GOLF

HISTORY

Golf has already taken part in two Olympics, in 1900 and 1904, and has the selling point of being a truly global sport.

It has some of the highest profile sportsmen in the planet, like Tiger Woods, but there is no guarantee that the biggest names would take part in the Games.

EVENTS PROPOSED

SPORTS NO LONGER ON OLYMPIC PROGRAMME
Cricket 1900
Croquet 1900
Golf 1900, 1904
Jeu de paume 1908
Lacrosse 1904, 1908
Tug of war 1900-12, 1920
Water motorsports 1908
Basque pelota 1900
Polo 1900, 1908, 1920-24, 1936
Rackets 1908
Rugby 1900, 1908, 1920-24
Roque 1904

Men's and women's competitions with 72 holes of stroke play and 50 players in each field. The leading two players who are in the top 300 of the official world rankings would be eligible.

WHAT THEY SAY

"There can be no doubt that Olympic golf would give a tremendous boost to the development of the game in young golfing nations around the world," R&A's Chief Executive, Peter Dawson.

"Golf may well be the most popular sport on the planet which is not currently on the Olympic programme," International Golf Federation joint secretary David Fay.




2012 OLYMPICS IN LONDON


Clickable guide to London's plans for 2012 Clickable venues guide
Interactive guide to London's plans


HOW LONDON WON
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