PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Karate Federation (Makaf) are keeping their fingers crossed the sport can get into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will present 40 recommendations in Lausanne this Wednesday and amongst others, he is expected to propose sweeping changes on how sports will be included in the future.
The first Games to benefit could be the Tokyo Olympics with the Japanese pushing for the inclusion of baseball after it was taken off the programme for the 2012 London Olympics.
But the karate fraternity is abuzz with the new developments whereby Bach may recommend that host cities have the option to choose up to two sports.
Makaf secretary Vincent Chen is aware that a meeting next week may be crucial to determine whether karate have a shot at admission after trying unsuccessfully for the last three Olympics.
“I understand if the proposals by the new IOC president are accepted, it will be voted on by the IOC session in Monaco early next month and will take effect at the 2020 Olympics.
“Karate is a traditional sport introduced by the Japanese and I think we have the advantage.
In terms of worldwide participation, we had entries from 120 countries when we had our World Championships in Bremen last week.
“We had 42 national federations out of 45 countries in Asia alone.
“It will be wonderful news if karate becomes an Olympic sport.
“Malaysia stands to gain if karate gets into the Olympics as we have one more realistic medal sport.
Makaf are confident we have the athletes to compete with the world’s best by 2020. In fact, we have identified some athletes in the current national squad to challenge for gold in the next world championships in Austria in 2016.”
Malaysian exponents contributed two gold medals at the last two Asian Games. Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan, one of the two Asian Games gold medallists in Incheon last month, made a breakthrough with her silver medal feat at the world meet last week.
The men’s kata team of Hoe Thomson, Emmanuel Leong and Ricky Leong bagged a bronze medal to make it the most successful outing for Malaysia at the world meet.