Jahangir makes the
case on NZ Radio
The WSF delegation is in
Singapore to press the case for squash in Friday's IOC vote, and
President Jahangir Khan took time out for a radio interview
with Willie Lose [pronounced LO-say] on New Zealand's Radio
Thanks to Gary Denvir of NZ squash for arranging the interview.
Listen to the interview
"forget my British and World titles"
|Friday 8th ... Decision
IOC session in Singapore concludes on Friday with votes to
determine the sports to participate in the London 2012 games.
All 28 current sports require a majority vote from IOC
delegates to remain on the programme, and if any are dropped
one or more of the sports on the 'waiting list' will be voted
Full vote procedure
MORE OLYMPIC STORIES
|Nicol David in Singapore
Asian squash superstar Nicol David joins World Squash
Federation President Jahangir Khan in Singapore this week for
the sport's final period of lobbying for inclusion in the 2012
David would be a natural contender for the sport's first
Olympic Gold medal. The 21-year-old from Penang created
history in July 2001 when she became the first player to win
the biennial World Junior title for a second time.
The Asian senior champion since 1998 - when aged just 14! -
Nicol won her first WISPA Grand Prix title earlier this year.
The success took David to a career-high No3 in the world
rankings - a feat which was hailed in her home country as "the
best ever position by a Malaysian sportsperson".
Jahangir Khan and Nicol David are in Singapore with WSF Chief
Executive Christian Leighton and the Federation's Emeritus
President Susie Simcock.
"The WSF is lobbying for change in the sports programme, and
has been meeting and lobbying with IOC members," said
Leighton. "It has been particularly pleasant to meet with IOC
members that have sent notes of support to squash in the
recent past," added the WSF chief.
Channel News Asia TV screened an interview with Jahangir Khan
at prime time on Tuesday, after the key speeches in the
Opening Ceremony of the 117th IOC Session.
A live poll being conducted by CNA, asking which 'new' sport
should be included in the 2012 Olympic Games, shows Squash
clearly in the lead - with 43% of the votes!
under threat ?
Taekwondo, baseball, softball and
modern pentathlon are facing possible elimination from the
Olympics in 2012 when the International Olympic Committee has
its meeting in July in Singapore, according to a number of
reports in the online press.
The IOC will hold a sport-by-sport secret ballot to determine
which among its 28 sports it may eliminate to cut down on the
size of the Summer Olympics, while increasing global interest
for the games.
However, no sport has been dropped from the program since polo
in 1936, and the existing sports are urging the IOC to leave
the program as it is ...
The vote for the
sports to be included is on Fri 8th July.
THE IOC VOTES:
FIRST ROUND: IOC members will vote by secret ballot
on each of the 28 sports that were in the programme for the
2004 Athens Games. The results of the vote will be announced
at the end of the proceedings.
SECOND ROUND: If one or more sports is not admitted
to be part of the programme because they do not obtain a
majority (more than 50% of the votes), this sport will
remain an Olympic sport: it will remain on the list but will
not be on the programme for the 2012 Games.
THIRD ROUND: If one or more sports is not admitted to
the programme of the 2012 Games and therefore the total
limit of the 28 sports on the programme has not been
reached, another sport(s) will be put on the programme. The
executive board will then propose the sport(s).
FOURTH ROUND: IOC members will then vote by secret
ballot on the proposal of the executive board. In order to
become an Olympic sport, a two-thirds majority is needed. In
order for an Olympic sport to be included in the sports
programme, a simple majority is needed.
Aussie stars back Olympic bid
On the day that could see squash admitted into the Olympics,
David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts told the
Sydney Morning Herald about squash's appeal ...
London Olympics calling as once popular
pastime set for big revival
By Aaron Timms
In the days when shorts were short, squash was big. But as shorts
have grown increasingly long over the past two decades, the game of
squash, as if compelled by an invisible hemline, has retreated
further and further from the public eye.
David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts are cases in point.
They're at the top of their sport, ranked No.3 and No.7 in the world
respectively, but most Australians would struggle to identify them.
Meeting them in an anonymous suburban squash centre seems to
illustrate the point nicely: they're elite athletes, but they have
to compete with 10-year-olds for court space. It'd be like asking
Roger Federer to train against the wall at the local primary school
while a game of handball was being played around him.
But today squash stands on the brink of a brave new era, with the
International Olympic Committee set to announce this afternoon
whether the sport has been successful in gaining inclusion at the
2012 Games in London.
Palmer and Ricketts are excited about the prospect of being able to
compete for Olympic gold.
"Getting selected for the Olympics will give us the opportunity to
take the sport where it deserves to go," Ricketts said.
"It'll help us get better TV slots, and that'll help us pull more
people to the sport. So, yeah, it's going to be an important day for
everyone involved in squash."
To win, squash will need to fend off competition from four other
sports - karate, golf, rugby union and "roller sports". Not
surprisingly, Ricketts thinks his sport enjoys a number of
advantages over its Olympic rivals.
For a start, it's a truly international game and, unlike some
professional sports represented at the Olympics, the best players
would all be keen to compete.
But the real thing that sets squash apart, according to Ricketts, is
the extraordinary level of fitness and conditioning needed to play
"It's a bloody hard sport to play," he said. "There wouldn't be many
sports where you have to train as hard as in squash."
even if the votes don't fall squash's way later today, the game's
administrators could do a lot worse than listen to Palmer's novel
idea for how to develop the sport in Australia.
"I think squash is really a social sport and we really have to build
the social side of it," he said. "All the clubs in America all do
well because of the social side of it. You don't just come for a
game of squash. This [complex] would be the perfect example - you'd
have a bar in the centre, you'd have saunas and steam rooms and gyms
and it would be an all-in-one type of complex.
"So you don't just come for squash. You'd come and meet a mate and
have a drink beforehand, play your squash, go sit in the jacuzzi or
sauna, and come out and maybe have a meal while watching other
"I've always thought that if I was going to run a squash club back
here, the first thing I would do would be to put a bar in it, just
to make it more sociable. And I think that would work."
At least the players wouldn't have to compete with 10-year-olds for
Original article from the Sydney Morning Herald
"Forget my British and World Titles ..."
If squash makes the Olympics this week it will be squash's greatest
ever player's greatest achievement, Jahangir tells Reuters today in
an interview ...
dream long held by squash great Jahangir Khan could be fulfilled in
Singapore this week if his sport finally gains official Olympic
Jahangir won 10 British Open titles and six World Opens in a career
of unprecedented dominance but an Olympic breakthrough by squash
would rank as his proudest achievement.
"If we get it, then forget about my British Opens, forget about my
world titles," the 41-year-old Jahangir told Reuters in an
"It would be a great achievement for the sport as a whole.
"I was fortunate to enjoy a magnificent career in squash and the
only regret I have is that I never had a chance to compete for an
Olympic gold medal.
"If I could help achieve this for the next generation of squash
players, it would be my proudest moment," added Jahangir who, as
president of the World Squash Federation (WSF), has led the sport's
bid to join the Games programme.
"It would be a lifelong dream come true for me."
Squash has been shortlisted with golf, rugby, roller sports and
karate for possible inclusion at the 2012 Games and could be added
to the programme by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in
Singapore on Friday.
All 28 Olympic sports will face the vote and must win a majority
from IOC members to avoid being dropped from the list. If a sport is
axed, the IOC executive board will select a replacement from the
The sport recommended by the executive board to replace an outgoing
sport would first need a two-thirds majority to become an "Olympic
sport" and would then need a simple majority in a second vote to be
admitted to the 2012 Games programme.
Jahangir believes squash is ideally suited to the Olympics.
"It's really surprising we haven't been there before, particularly
as we fulfil all the criteria," he said.
"The sport is all about sheer athleticism. At the highest level, it
requires a remarkable combination of power, speed, flexibility,
agility and instant reflexes.
"And let's not forget squash's trademark -- outstanding endurance,
both muscular and cardiovascular. Surely the Olympics are
principally all about superior athletic performance?
"Plus squash is truly global. It is played in more than 150
countries and is spreading across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe
"We have between 15 and 20 million players worldwide while the
number of national federations affiliated to the WSF has doubled in
the past 15 years to 125."
widely regarded as the greatest squash player in history, knows all
about the challenge of sport, the hard work required to succeed and
what it means to shine at the highest level.
In a glittering career that ended in 1993, he was ranked in the
world's top two for a decade, never failing to reach at least the
semi-finals of any tournament in that period.
While his 10 British Open titles will surely never be eclipsed,
perhaps his greatest on-court achievement was staying unbeaten for
five years, seven months and one day between 1981 and 1986. Only
once was he extended to five games.
The Olympics, however, were always foreign territory for him. While
racket sports such as badminton and tennis gained IOC recognition,
squash stayed outside the ropes.
possibly more than anyone, knows what it will mean to squash players
if their sport gains IOC acceptance in Singapore.
"I have spoken to all our leading players and they are all dying to
be there," he said. "I don't know which of them will still be around
in 2012, but all of them would want to be there, to be part of the
"Competing in the Games would be the highest honour and the top
priority. It would be the pinnacle of a squash player's career."