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Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 7:45:00 PM
Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 7:46:53 PM
by kng zheng guan
A file photo of James Willstrop showing juniors the correct way to serve. Even if squash does not get voted into the Olympics, Willstrop believes the sport will still thrive.
PETALING JAYA: World No. 3 James Willstrop believes that getting squash into the Olympics will mean a brighter future for the sport.
The 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session will decide on Sept 8 which one of three sports – squash, wrestling and baseball/softball – will get into the 2020 Games.
Squash has lost out on the last two bids but is now on the verge of making history, provided the IOC are convinced that it meets all the criteria to be an Olympic sport.
It certainly helps that all the top players in the world are actively doing their part to getting squash into the Olympics.
“I think that for squash to get into the Olympics, it certainly represents a brighter future for the sport because interest levels will increase due to its Olympic status,” said England’s Willstrop via email.
“How important is getting squash into the Olympics? Simply beyond belief.
“Thinking about it is already a cause of tremendous excitement and anticipation. We all want it badly and it sends shivers down the spine to think of competing in the biggest sporting event in the world.”
The 30-year-old Willstrop, who trains at West Yorkshire, however exercised caution over squash’s chances of getting in ahead of wrestling and baseball/softball.
“Wrestling is still in contention and I don’t want to think positively or negatively on the possibilities because I really don’t know what the IOC will decide on,” said Willstrop.
“But let’s hope squash makes it.
“Even if squash doesn’t make it, we still have strong tours worldwide ... and it’s a thriving sport.
“We will simply continue to inspire and promote this brilliant game and it’s not the end!
“We still have massive events on the calendar and nobody will ever give up on another Olympic bid.”
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squash, vote4squash, Olympics, Squash 2020, Olympics 2020, IOC, James Willstrop
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