Wrestling joins European Games despite Olympic snub
MUNICH - Wrestling officially became part of the inaugural 2015 European Games on Tuesday despite being axed from the 2020 Olympic Games last month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The sport has launched a frantic effort to reclaim its Olympic spot after being part of every modern Olympics since 1896, apart from 1900.
It will feature the same disciplines at the European Games as at the Olympics, with men and women's freestyle and Greco-Roman, the international wrestling federation FILA said.
The deal was sealed between FILA's acting president Nenad Lalovic and the European Olympic Committees (EOC) who are in charge of the European Games, with both sides signing a letter of understanding.
"I'd like to thank the EOC for its constructive approach in welcoming the sport of wrestling into the inaugural European Games in Baku," said Lalovic who took over the role of federation acting president last month.
"This is important to our sport and it will take place in one of the most passionate wrestling countries in the world. "
The EOC launched their European Games plan late last year, with the Azeri capital hosting the first edition.
Last month wrestling was surprisingly dropped from the list of core Olympic sports for the 2020 Games, forcing it to join seven other candidate sports that will battle it out for the one vacant spot when the IOC session votes in September in Buenos Aires.
It still needs, however, to get on to an IOC shortlist of sports in St Petersburg in May to be put to the vote in September.
The other candidate sports are karate, wushu, wakeboarding, sports climbing, roller sports, squash and a joint bid from baseball and softball. (Editing by Clare Fallon)