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1ST LEAD IOC Executive Board blessing for five new sports for Tokyo 2020 By Andreas Schirmer, dpa

Europe
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Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday backed the inclusion of five new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The IOC Executive Board, which was meeting in Switzerland, recommended that baseball-softball, karate, rock climbing, skateboarding and surfing be included following a proposal by the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.

The move must be approved by the IOC General Assembly in early August in Rio de Janeiro prior to the 2016 Games, but that is considered a formality.

The five sports - with baseball for men and softball for women counting as one sport - would add 18 competitions and 500 athletes to the programme for the 2020 summer Olympic Games.

In recent years, the IOC has been making efforts to make the Olympics more appealing to younger audiences, which is also part of the new Olympic Agenda 2020 of IOC president Thomas Bach.

Bach is scheduled to visit Brazil from June 14-16 to check on preparations for the Olympic Games and he will also meet Brazil‘s interim president, Michel Temer, the IOC said Wednesday.

Bach is to spend the first two days of his inspection tour in Rio de Janeiro and then travel to Brasilia to meet Temer, who was named interim president after Brazil‘s Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of suspending Dilma Rousseff from office for 180 days and subjecting her to an impeachment trial on charges of budget irregularities.

Temer will formally open the August 5-21 Games.

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