Olympics committee approves major changes for 2020 games

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 9 (Reuters) - Mixed relays in athletics and swimming and three-a-side basketball were among new events approved on Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The IOC's executive board also agreed to add mixed doubles in table tennis, mixed team events in judo, shooting and archery and a mixed team triathlon.

IOC President Thomas Bach said the new disciplines would make the games "more youthful, more urban and will include more women."

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Local sports fans wear patriotic Olympic Rings sunglasses during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, USA.

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ATHLETES POWER THEIR WAY OFF THE BACK STRAIGHT DURING A HEAT FOR THE MENS 400 METER AT THE 1984 LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS.

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Carl Lewis #387 wins the final of the Men's 100m event during 1984 United States Olympic Track and Field Trials at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on June 17, 1984 in Los Angeles, California . Also visible are Ron Brown #647, Emmit King #708 and Calvin Smith #711.

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Dwight Stones competes in the Men's High Jump final during the 1984 United States Olympic Track and Field Trials at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in June 1984 in Los Angeles, California.

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Olympic rings of smoke appear above the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Olympic Games held in Olympic Stadium, Los Angeles in 1984.

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Mitch Gaylord does his routine on the parallel bars during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

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USA team members shake hands with people in the crowd during the 1984 Summer Olympics games in Los Angeles, California.

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Team USA's Vern Fleming #7 dribbles the ball downcourt during the 1984 Olympics at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

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The opening ceremony at the 23rd Olympic Games held in Olympic Statium, Los Angeles in 1984.

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The American athlete Carl Lewis, born Frederick Carlton Lewis, holding a bunch of flowers in his hands after winning a gold medal at the XXIII Olympics. Los Angeles, 1984.

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Mary Decker runs down the track during the Olympic Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

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THE UNITED STATES TEAM CELEBRATE AFTER RECEIVING THEIR GOLD MEDALS FOR THEIR VICTORY IN THE MENS TEAM GYMNASTICS COMPETITION AT THE 1984 LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS. THE USA TEAM COMPRISES PETER VIDMAR, BART CONNER, MITCHELL GAYLORD, TIMOTHY DAGGETT, JAMES HARTUNG AND SCOTT JOHNSON.

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Daley Thompson of Great Britain clears the bar during the high jump event of the decathlon at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Thompson won the decathlon with a World Record of 8,847 points.

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Bart Conner performs on the parallel bars during the Summer Olympics XXIII circa 1984 in Los Angeles, California.

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JAMES MARTINEZ (BLUE) OF THE UNITED STATES THROWS MOHAMMED MUTEI ALNAKDALI DURING THEIR LIGHTWEIGHT GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING MATCH AT THE 1984 LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS. MARTINEZ WON THE BOUT.

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The Los Angeles Coliseum played host to the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, in Los Angeles, California on August 31, 2015. The Los Angeles city Council members vote September 1,on the city's bid for the 2024 Olympics in a move seen as an important step toward securing nomination as a candidate by the US Olympic Committee.

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An IOC statement said Tokyo would include a 4 x 400 mixed relay in athletics and a 4 x 100 medley mixed relay in swimming. Swimming would also include two further new events - a men's 800 meters and women's 1500 meters freestyle race.

The IOC said the numbers of athletes in some sports would be cut with athletics (105 fewer athletes), weightlifting (64) and wrestling (56) the main casualties. On the other hand, basketball would have 64 extra participants.

The world athletics body (IAAF) said it was delighted at the inclusion of mixed relays but disappointed in the reduction in its athletes quota.

It said mixed relays had been "hugely successful and appealing for athletes and spectators alike."

"Pitching teams of two men and two women together with the added dimension of team tactics, make this a vibrant, youthful and exciting competition."

But it added: "Whilst we understand the need to be firm on numbers and applaud the IOC's stance on gender equality in all sports, reducing the quota will inevitably have an impact on our joint goals of universality."

Three-a-side basketball, an urban sport where the teams aim for the same hoop, was introduced at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010 and Nanjing in 2014.

The IOC said that men's and women's madison would be added to track cycling and Freestyle Park to BMX cycling. Boxing, canoeing and rowing had agreed to reduce the number of men's events in exchange for more women's events.

It said there would be a net increase of 15 events, an overall reduction of 285 athletes compared to Rio in 2016 and "the highest representation of female athletes in Olympic history."

The decision is a significant step towards having equal numbers of male and female athletes and events at the Games, the IOC said.

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