Squash stars staying positive on their Olympic future

London, Sep 4 (IANS) England's twice world champion Nick Matthew is keeping his fingers crossed ahead of one of the most momentous days in squash history. He, like the rest of the global squash community, is counting down to Sunday when the International Olympic Committee will decide which of squash, wrestling and softball/baseball will feature in the 2020 Olympics.

Sep 4 2013, 3:26am CDT | by IANS

Squash stars staying positive on their Olympic future
Photo Credit: Mark Runnacles, Getty Images

London, Sep 4 — England's twice world champion Nick Matthew is keeping his fingers crossed ahead of one of the most momentous days in squash history. He, like the rest of the global squash community, is counting down to Sunday when the International Olympic Committee will decide which of squash, wrestling and softball/baseball will feature in the 2020 Olympics.

Matthew is certainly hopeful of a positive verdict from the meeting in Buenos Aires.

"The sport appears to be enjoying a surge in popularity which is down to the hard work of a lot of different people," says the newly-married Yorkshire-born racquet master.

"London 2012 was a big low to the sport because it rammed home we weren't an Olympic sport. But in a strange way it gave our bid more exposure because I think many people just assumed squash was already in the Games.

"So, there was a momentum built up from people wanting to see a sport like squash in the Olympics.

"As I said, I believe the sport is on the crest of a wave and hopefully we can carry on with the momentum."

Londoner Peter Barker, a semi-finalist at the 2011 World Championship and winner of the Colombian Open this summer, is also on tenterhooks ahead of the judgement day.

"I really believe squash deserves to be an Olympic sport," says Barker, who recently became a father for the first time. "But in life you don't always get what you deserve. We're up against a few other well-supported sports but I am staying optimistic."

Squash, making a third attempt for Games inclusion, made the shortlist back in May when karate, wakeboarding, roller sports, climbing and wushu were all cast adrift.

"Recognition as an Olympic sport would accelerate the growth plans we're making," added Alex Gough, CEO of the Professional Squash Association.

"If we are included in the 2020 Olympics, we'd expect investment in the sport to double within the next three to four years."

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

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