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IOC Executive Board rejects wrestling’s request for seven women’s weight classes in the Olympic Game



The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decisions on a number of requests for changes in the program of the Summer Olympic Games during meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, October 27.

Among the requests denied was a proposal by FILA, the international wrestling federation, to increase the number of women's weight classes in the Olympic Games from four to seven.

In a press release, the IOC made the following announcement:

"Requests by International Federations NOT accepted by the EB for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing

FILA - Wrestling
Request: inclusion of three additional weight categories of women's wrestling, leading to a total of seven categories. The Federation was encouraged to find a solution within its existing quota."

Wrestling currently has seven weight classes in the Olympics in men's freestyle and men's Greco-Roman wrestling and four weight classes in women's freestyle wrestling, for a total of 21 weight classes.

In the World Championships, there are seven weight classes for women wrestlers. The four weight classes that were contested in the 2004 Olympic Games were 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg and 72 kg. The three weight classes that are in the World Championships but not the Olympic Games are 51 kg, 59 kg and 67 kg.

Men's wrestling changed from 10 weight classes per style (20 total medal events) in the 1996 Olympic Games to eight weight classes per style (16 total medal events) in the 2000 Olympics to seven weight classes per style (14 medals for men, but a total of 21 medals including women) at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Wrestling's request for an increase in participants and medals was one of nine requests for increases that were denied. Other sports that had requests denied for changes were boxing, basketball, gymnastics, aquatics, softball, tennis, weightlifting and taekwondo. Including in this decision was the denial of the request for the addition of women's boxing to the Olympic Games.

The IOC did accept a number of proposals from other sports, which included three new medal events and an expansion of the number of women athletes in a three sports. In addition, the IOC will increase the number of female athletes in the Olympic Games by approximately 80 athletes, without adding additional athletes to the total of 10,500 competitors in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

The new events added to the Olympics included:
Swimming - Open water swimming 10km event for men
Swimming - Open water swimming 10kg event for women
Athletics - women's 3,000m steeplechase

Sports that will see an increase in participants were:
Soccer - female teams increased from 10 to 12
Field hockey - female teams increased from 10 to 12
Team handball - female teams increased from 10 to 12

Table tennis will see a change of format from doubles events to a team event.

There were a number of new sports that sought inclusion in the Olympic Games that were denied by not meeting the 2/3 vote necessary for inclusion. According to a report from the Sport Telegraph, those sports that were turned down included rugby sevens, golf, squash, karate and roller sports.

The complete IOC announcement can be found at:
http://olympic.org/uk/news/olympic_news/full_story_uk.asp?id=1520
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