BRITISH Olympic chiefs are backing plans to include BREAKDANCING at the 2024 Paris Games.
But the move has sparked fury from karate and squash, who have been overlooked in favour of the move to “urban” sports.
Breakdancing, along with skateboarding, wall climbing and surfing, are the four sports being proposed for 2024 by Paris organising chiefs.
Skateboarding, climbing and surfing are all due to be part of the programme for next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, with baseball (and softball) and karate the other additional sports in 2020.
The two overlooked sports, along with squash, snooker and even chess, wanted to be chosen in Paris in addition to the 28 established sports on the Olympic roster.
But breakdancing, which was a non-medal event at the recent Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, got the nod because of its deemed relevance to youth culture.
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Tony Estranguet, head of the Paris organising committee, explained: “We want to connect to the sports that are popular all over the world.
“This would also bring to the Games a more urban dimension, more natural and artistic sport.”
Introducing the four events, which will have a total of 248 athletes, mean that number must be cut from other sports to meet the IOC’s limit of 10,500 competitors.
It was also ruled that no sports which required long-term infrastructure building would be entertained.
The move was welcomed by the BOA, even if it is not clear if Team GB will have any competitors in them.
In a statement, the BOA said: “We look forward to welcoming all new sports into the Olympic Games and will work with the relevant bodies to develop our relationships at the appropriate time.
“Although we did not compete in what was an invitational event at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, we did witness the popularity of breakdancing amongst fans there.”
But the decision – which will come a step closer being confirmed when the IOC meet next month although formal ratification will not be until December 2020 – caused a serious backlash from the sports that missed out.
Antonio Espinos, President of the World Karate Federation, said he was “deeply saddened”, adding: “Our sport has grown exponentially over the last years, and we still haven’t had the chance to prove our value as an Olympic sport since we will be making our debut in Tokyo.
“We believed that we had the perfect conditions to be added to the programme. Now we have learned that our dream will not be coming true.”
And the World Squash Federation spoke of its “great disappointment” as it added: “We showed that squash offers a dynamic and forward-looking agenda. The unity of our sport is exceptional.”