Five new sports will debut at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Games will feature a record 33 sports with 339 medals up for grabs. Team GB’s Sky Brown will seek fame in skateboarding while Shauna Coxsey will have high hopes in rock climbing.
Sportsmail Riath Al-Samarrai introduces you to the five new sports presented in Japan.
Five new sports to debut at the Tokyo Olympics including surfing
The introduction of skateboarding for these Games and those of 2024 is part of the will of the International Olympic Committee for this still elusive young audience. New friends are fine, but they’ll stick a bit with the more grumpy and traditional ones.
In Tokyo, the sport will be divided into two disciplines: the park and the street. The park takes place in a dome shaped bowl with the responsibility of maintaining the flow throughout the course while performing tricks. Street is a course made up of rails and stairs. Each discipline is scored by a group of judges.
British interest in skateboarding will mainly focus on Sky Brown and Bombette Martin. Brown will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she competes at the age of 13 years and 11 days, while Martin herself is only 14 years old. There has been some unease around the marketing of Brown, which is sponsored by Nike among others, following him. the team’s decision to release a video last year following a serious fall. Brown will be a medal contender in the park.
British interest in skateboarding will focus mainly on Sky Brown, who would become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she competed at the age of 13 years and 11 days old.
It has the potential to be another eye-catching addition to the schedule and one in which Great Britain have strong medal hope in Shauna Coxsey.
As with other Olympic newcomers, the IOC has been drawn to large numbers – around 25 million people around the world climb steadily.
The sport has three components: the boulder is a problem-solving exercise on a difficult 4-meter climb without a rope; Speed is a race over a 15m wall against an opponent; and lead climbing gives a roped climber a set time to climb as high as possible. Each is normally their own discipline with their own competitions and specialists, but controversially they were combined for a medal event in Tokyo.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel very positive about him at first,” Coxsey, a bouldering specialist, told Sportsmail in 2019.
“It was actually not an easy decision whether I even wanted to try for the Games, but after studying the decision and seeing that there was a possibility that climbing would receive a medal, I got it.”
Climbing could be an eye-catching addition and the GB team have strong medal hopes in Shauna Coxsey
Karate is coming home. Sport has fought for a long time to get a place at this table and will finally have its chance in its country of origin. It will be a short stay, however, as he is not on the list to appear in Paris in 2024.
There will be two disciplines in Tokyo: kata and kumite. Kata is a demonstration art in which fighters are judged on their techniques, while kumite pits them against each other in a fight.
There will be three weight classes each for men and women in kumite, with a staging given at Nippon Budokan, which hosted the very first world karate championships in 1970.
Jordan Thomas, who won the 2016 -67 kg kumite world title, was named as a potential candidate but failed to qualify, meaning Britain will have no representation in the sport.
Spain’s Sandra Sanchez is the big favorite to win gold in karate
BASEBALL AND MOLLE
Baseball and softball are back on the program after being canned in 2008, and neither are currently scheduled for the Games in 2024. This is undoubtedly due to the immense popularity of these sports in Japan, where The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league is generally regarded as second in quality after Major League Baseball.
Only six nations will play baseball in Tokyo – Japan, the United States, Israel, Mexico, South Korea and the Dominican Republic.
The same number of countries will field women’s teams for softball – Japan, United States, Mexico, Italy, Australia and Canada. Both will feature a group stage followed by knockout rounds, with Japan clearly the favorite to win gold in baseball and considered a tie with the United States in softball.
While the United States is synonymous with baseball, no active Major League player will play for Team USA.
They will have a number of former MLB stars, as well as infielder Eddy Alvarez, who won a silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in short track speed skating.
Pictured: Italy faces Australia in softball, who return to the Games alongside baseball
Another part of the IOC’s heart and soul mission.
As with skateboarding, it debuts in Tokyo and was tentatively included in Paris 2024, albeit in the slightly jarring location of Tahiti (around 10,000 miles from France).
Surfing in Tokyo will take place at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya and will involve both male and female categories.
There will be preliminary rounds, each lasting 20 to 25 minutes, assuming sufficient waves, and only one in four riders per round may ride one wave at a time. Judging is based on the difficulty, speed and flow of maneuvers rather than the number of waves.
Despite the initial hope of qualifying a surfer for Tokyo, Great Britain will not be represented on the waves this time around.
Surfing in Tokyo will take place on Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya and will involve both male and female categories