Jahangir hopeful after Beijing experience
Attendance at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing
has boosted World Squash Federation President Jahangir Khan's
hopes that Squash can make its long-awaited debut in the Games in
Squash is one of seven sports short-listed by the IOC for possible
addition to the 2016 Games programme - the decision for which will
be made at the IOC session in Copenhagen in October 2009.
Joined in Beijing by WSF Patron HRH Tunku Imran, the
President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia and an IOC Member, and
WSF Emeritus President Susie Simcock, who recently received
the New Zealand Olympic Order award after more than a decade of
service with the NZ Olympic Committee, Khan was able to meet and
receive feedback and helpful advice from many IOC members present.
In addition to meeting senior officials of the Chinese Squash
Federation, the party also met with IOC Sports department
representatives to clarify the process leading up to the selection
of sports for the 2016 Olympic programme [what
The WSF delegates also met members of the international press in
Beijing, which provided numerous opportunities to convey the sport's
strong credentials for Olympic inclusion.
Furthermore, Jahangir Khan joined representatives of other 2016
short-listed sports on an "Around the Rings News Maker" breakfast
panel session, which resulted in significant worldwide publicity for
the Squash bid.
a truly global sport - indeed the top six teams in last year's World
Men's Championships covered the five continents - and Olympic
success would be the ultimate goal for all our athletes.
"We were most grateful to the IOC for receiving accreditation to
attend the magnificently-hosted Olympics in Beijing, giving us the
chance to observe and enjoy the presentation of the many excellent
sports on the Olympic programme.
"As a result of my wonderful experience in Beijing, I am committed
to working even harder on behalf of our athletes to convince IOC
decision-makers that Squash will add value and should be included to
the Olympic programme in 2016!
"I am more optimistic than ever before that our Olympic dreams can
New sports pledge star attractions
(Reuters) - From stroke play with Phil Mickelson to squash's
all-round glass court, seven sports are pulling all the stops to
impress the International Olympic Committee and win a spot on the
2016 Games program.
The IOC will decide next year whether up to two new sports will be
included for 2016 and golf, squash, rugby, karate, baseball,
softball and rollersports are in full election mode.
All of the sports present at a conference organized by Olympics-related
website Around the Rings pledged to add value to the Games.
"We have 100 million athletes," International Karate Federation
General Secretary-George Yerolimpos told Reuters. "Its appeal is
just tremendous and we can bring that to the Games. It is exciting,
fast and spectacular."
Rugby has also been tipped as one of the frontrunners for inclusion,
with the rugby sevens format, following its successful World Cup
World Squash Federation President Jahangir Khan, arguably the
greatest athlete to ever grace the sport, said squash had worked
hard to create a more audience-friendly image with portable glass
courts that could be placed anywhere, inside or outside.
can have the court in the middle, set up temporary stands and have
10,000 people watching it," Khan said. "We have worked on becoming
more viewer-friendly and will bring an exciting sport to the Games."
The inclusion of up to two new sports will be decided in October
2009 during the IOC session in Copenhagen. The sports program for
any Olympic Games is decided seven years in advance.
Full story from Reuters
Squash on the
Menu in Beijing ...
Leaders of golf, squash, baseball and softball will explain why they
belong on the program for the 2016 Olympics at the Around the
Rings Newsmaker Breakfast on August 19 at the McDonald’s on the
Beijing Olympic Green.
Dmitry Chernyshenko of Sochi 2014 was scheduled, but was forced to
cancel because of a scheduling conflict.
Invitations have been issued to all seven eligible federations:
baseball, golf, karate, roller sport, rugby, softball and squash
World Squash Federation President Jahangir Khan,
International Golf Federation's Ty Votaw, International Softball
Federation's Don Porter and International Baseball Federation
president Harvey Schiller are confirmed for the panel.
The host is Ed Hula, editor of Around the Rings.
Around the Rings
Jahangir arrives in Beijing for IOC lobbying (APP)
President of World Squash Federation (WSF) Jahangir Khan of Pakistan
arrived here to lobby for the inclusion of squash in future
“WSF was trying hard for the inclusion of squash in 2016 Olympic
Games because of its popularity around the globe,” he told reporters
at Olympic Green Hockey Stadium on Friday night where had come to
witness Pakistan’s match against Australia.
He said being WSF Chief, he was extended an invitation by the
Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee to witness the games.
Jahangir Khan, who won the British Open for record ten time and
world open for eight-time, said he was meeting with various
officials and Heads of National Olympic Committees currently taking
part in Olympics to press upon International Olympic Committee for
the inclusion of squash in world’s greatest sporting extravaganza.
He said he felt sorry that he could not win an Olympic gold for the
country after having dominating the world squash scene for nearly
decade and remained unbeaten for five and half years because squash
was not the part of Olympics.
He expressed his disappointment that despite great efforts and
popularity of squash it was not being the part of Olympics. “It
(squash) deserved to be included in Olympic Games,” he said.
Jahangir Khan said majority of the officials, who are participating
in the Beijing Olympics are giving full weight for making squash
part of Olympics from now after the 2012 London Olympics.
He said the case of inclusion of squash in Olympic Games will be
decided during the IOC meeting in Singapore next year during which
the name of the host city for holding 2016 Olympics will be decided.
Rivals press on
Two of the other shortlisted sports for 2016 appear to be making big
efforts to impress in Beijing, according to
this report in The Guardian ...
"Bernard Lapasset, the International Rugby Board's chairman,
has been lobbying hard for the inclusion of his sport's sevens
format in the Olympics. Fluent in Spanish and English, the Frenchman
has used his language skills to meet about 50 of the 114 IOC members
to press his case.
Rugby has been promoting itself since before London's anointment as
the 2012 host city in 2005.
Ty Votaw, the executive vice-president for international affairs at
the PGA Tour, is heading golf's campaign for inclusion. He
arrives on Saturday and will embark on a similar tour of
Funny Olympic Photos
Roll on 2016 ...
Olympics on the Forum
With the Beijing opening ceremony just one day away, another Games
we thought it was time for a quick roundup on Squash and the
the Beijing Olympics approach and with constant reminders of London
2012, it is hard not to wonder why Squash is not in the Olympics.
Since the reputable Forbes magazine in America listed it as the toughest sport in the world - and surely no-one would doubt
its skill levels - since it doesn't have drug problems and since the
required facilities are far from demanding, small wonder that the
question repeatedly asked is "Why isn't squash in the Olympics?"
I have to say, too, that the question is often asked by non squash
people. I was very surprised that the game was not included in the
Sydney Olympics with Australia 's reputation and such as the great
Sarah Fitzgerald, David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts as real medal
contenders. Anthony told me that he thought they almost assumed
entry and therefore hadn't worked hard enough at it.
So London 2012, with England a mainstream squash country, world team
champions, eight years after Sydney ... plenty of time ... seemed
Yet it hasn't happened. On the day of the voting on the sports to be
included in London, two sports were removed, leaving vacancies. The
vote for which two to be admitted was held and squash and karate won
the day. Squash so close - the 2005 votes
I well remember the elation of several players who were, like me,
watching events as they happened at Pontefract Squash Club. Then,
shockingly, soon after came the news that another vote, which nobody
seemed to know about, had been taken and there had been an
insufficient majority to include squash and karate.
It all seemed very curious at the time. Looking back, did any
official power in WSF question or challenge it? The IOC may be an
autocratic body, but surely that doesn't mean questions cannot be
asked of it. The concept that issues may not be diplomatically
raised is surely not democratic and if there is a fear of offending
the IOC is anybody telling me that squash will be there in 2016,
because I would bet against it ... except that I won't live long
enough to collect.
It is even sadder when baseball, beach volleyball, handball and
softball are all there, to say little of tennis, which pays lip
service to the Olympics, despite the presence this time of Nadal.
Andy Roddick is not going because it will interfere with his
preparation for the US Open - imagine a squash player declining to
take part ... unthinkable.
Athletics may be the principal sport, but it is so tainted by drugs
that it is hard to know the value of performance and the bookmakers
bet odds on that weightlifting will produce the first failed drug
test in Beijing.
There is no doubt entry to the Olympics would raise the profile not
only of the sport but of the players. It is equally clear that the
funding would protect the game's interests now and in the future.
So where does all that leave us? Clutching at 2016 or would it be
worth looking at that mysterious second vote which took everyone by
surprise in the hope of London 2012. After all that is four years
One thing's for sure - the players would respect the Olympics and
bring to the games top class athletes providing top class, honest
The BBC is providing a "Desktop Monkey" to guide people
through its Olympic coverage ... looks a little scary to us
Positive responses have already been received from a number of IOC
Members following the circulation of a letter from WSF Patron HRH
Tunku Imran highlighting the appeal of Squash to the
WSF President Jahangir Khan and Emeritus President Susie
Simcock, who will attend the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on
behalf of the WSF, will meet the IOC Sports Department on 21 August.
A WSF meeting with IOC President Jacques Rogge has also been
confirmed for 13 November.
UK IOC Member Sir Craig Reedie, Vice President of the British
Olympic Association, has accepted the WSF's invitation to attend the
2008 Men's & Women's World Opens in October in Manchester - where he
will join fellow IOC Member Tunku Imran.
What happens next ???
Two-time World Champion David Palmer talks to AAP
was tragic for squash that it didn't make the 2012 games. It's a big
sport in England so it would have been the Olympics to get squash
into. Squash is great because it's a sport everyone can relate to.
Ask every Australian and they've played squash, whether at school or
some other competition or just socially with their mates.
"I don't want to upset anyone but sports like archery and
synchronised swimming, sure they work hard to get into the Olympics
but how many people have ever done synchronised swimming or done
"Australia has had such a history in squash: from the Geoff Hunts to
the Michelle Martins, Sarah Fitz-Gerald ... we have dominated. Had
squash been on the Olympics, we would have won medals at probably
"I've been to three Commonwealth Games, but it could also have been
three Olympics. I'm sure one day we'll get in, but not obviously in
my day, and that's frustrating."
to AAP this week after winning the Australian Open
Beijing Medal Table
with a gold medal!
Kuala Lumpur: Heaping praises on Malaysia's squash
queen Datuk Nicol Ann David, the Prime minister has issued a
challenge to Malaysian athletes bound for the Beijing Olympics:
Return home with a gold medal!
"The cemerlang (excellence), gemilang (glory) and
terbilang (distinction) will be at the Olympics. That is what I
want to see...we winning a gold medal.
"We have got silver previously, through badminton where we lost to
the Indonesians," he said.
"The real sport in which we are terbilang is squash, through our own
Nicol David. She is not only terbilang but also cemerlang and
gemilang. We need to keep on raising our standards."
Willstrop - angry to be missing Beijing
I, like everyone else, am looking forward to what unfolds in Beijing
but I couldn't help but feel angry at being at home rather than
competing in the Olympic Games. So how come squash isn't in the
The Beijing Olympiad:
A Squash-free Zone!
It’s looking like a good Olympiad. While America and China duke it
out for medals, Russia quietly annexes its favorite corner of the
Trans-Caucasus. Everybody loves the fab architecture and the
smog—sorry, mist—has so far claimed fewer victims than a random
loonytune killer. What’s missing from this picture? Squash!
The 2016 Shortlists:
The sports shortlisted for 2016 are:
Squash, Golf, Karate, Roller Sports, Rugby 7s, Baseball and
And the shortlisted host cities are: Chicago, Madrid,
and Rio de Janeiro
Mickleson backs Golf's bid
What happens next ?
Squash is doing battle with softball, rugby, karate, golf,
baseball and roller sports for up to three available
places as a new sport in the 2016 Games. This limited number of
possible new sports is because the maximum number of Olympic
events has been set at 28. Only when a vacancy comes up will the
Executive Board decide whether the applicant sports will be
considered for a future Olympic Games.
Baseball and Softball were both dropped at the 2005 session by
narrow votes, respectively just 1 and 3 votes. Both have been
lobbying very hard for a return and remain "Olympic Sports" even
though they will be absent in London 2012.
After these two sports were dropped the IOC also rejected Squash
and the other four hopefuls as 'Olympic Sports', both falling
short of the required 2/3 majority. This was despite having
already voted to put Squash and Karate on the 2012 programme. As
a result of this decision, London will only have 26 instead of
the usual maximum of 28 events.
The IOC will, in December 2008 send out application forms
to the seven federations on the short list. The replies are
expected to be returned in the first quarter of 2009. Upon
receipt of these replies the IOC sub-commission will then
prepare a report in which they assess the seven sports. This
report should be ready in April 2009.
After that, in June 2009, the leaders of the seven sports
will be invited to make a presentation to the IOC executive
board in Lausanne, Switzerland. The executive board will then
submit the finished proposals to the IOC who will meet in full
in Copenhagen to decide which sports to include.
Therefore the decision whether to add Squash as a new Olympic
Games event is to be expected at the International Olympic
Committee session in Copenhagen on 2nd October 2009. The
IOC will also select the 2016 host city during the Copenhagen
At that session the existing 26 sports will be voted on to
decide if they should retain their places on the programme. At
least 25 of the maximum 28 sports must come from those currently
listed, but there is no obligation to fill any of the vacancies.
Previously Olympic status could only be achieved with a
two-thirds majority in the IOC vote. This procedure was adjusted
following widespread criticism of the extended procedures at the
IOC session in Singapore in 2005, where members had to vote
individually on each of the 28 sports. In 2007 a new voting
system was approved, and now it only takes an outright majority
in votes for a sport to be voted into the Olympic Games program.