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DEVELOPING IOC approves five new sports for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing have been elected new sports for the 2020 Games in Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The five sports, with 18 events and 474 athletes, are being added to the Tokyo programme alone, based on a proposal of the Japanese organizers and a nod by the IOC executive board in June.

"We believe the five sports deliver significant benefits, including worldwide youth appeal and great added value to Tokyo 2020 overall," organizing committee director general Toshiro Muto says. "It will inspire young athletes to compete at the highest level around the world."

Japan is the birthplace of karate and organizing committee chief Yoshiro Mori described baseball as "almost our national sport."

However, officials had to admit that they have yet to reach an agreement with Major League Baseball in the United States about the participation of its stars.

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