5 new sports for Tokyo 2020

Source: Wikimedia Commons

by Ella Fenwick

With the Summer Olympics returning on the 24th July 2020 to supply just over two weeks of intense sporting events.  It has been announced by the International Olympic Committee, that six brand-new and returning events will be included in Japan 2020.

1. Skateboarding

This sport is an unusual event that has been added to the Olympics, because of its “urban” sports label.  Participants will take place in two events. “Park” skateboarding takes place on a bowl-shaped course, where skaters are scored on their performance. Whereas the street course is designed with rails and ramps to mimic a city environment. As well as that the “street” division is over 3 timed runs, with the highest scoring run used overall. It will be exciting to see how this will change people’s views on skateboarding and if there will be new found involvement.

2. Sport Climbing

Both men and women will compete in three different disciplines within sport-climbing. Each athlete’s final ranks will be made up of the combined scores earned in each section. The first division is “speed”, where two athletes will race up to the top of a 15-metre wall. The second is “bouldering” where climbers ascend as many fixed routes as possible on a 4-metre wall within 4 minutes. “Bouldering” is also the only one which does not include safety ropes. The final is  “lead”, where athletes try to climb as high as they can within 6 minutes up a 15-metre wall.

3. Surfing

This short-board competition is making a debut appearance for 40 surfers.  A male and female competitor per nation, will be judged on the difficulty of manoeuvres.  The highest scores will be awarded by the performance on large waves.  Four athletes will compete at one time, with the top two surfers from each heat moving forwards. This sporting event is set to take place in the ocean, at the contest site of “Shidashita Beach”, which will add a unique new water-sport to the collection that have been present for previous Olympics.

4. Karate

Karate is  joining the other martial arts in Japan 2020, practising two disciplines of kata and kumite. Kata is where the athlete will demonstrate offensive and defensive moves against a virtual opponent on a point system. Kumite is the sparring of two weight matched opponents, for 3 minutes, points are given on the landing of strikes depending on power to target areas, the winner is decided on the most points or if there is an 8-point lead. There will be 3 sections for both men and women.

5. Baseball & Softball

Returning after two Olympic absences, there will be six countries competing.  If unaware of the ruleset, baseball and softball follow similar rules. The games consist of two teams, one of which is “batting” trying to score runs and the other “fielding” trying to score “outs”, three outs create an inning before the team swaps positions, all together there are nine innings. Softball is played with a larger ball on a smaller field, with the pitcher throwing underhand.

In addition to all these new sports, other changes and adaptations have been made to pre-existing sports categories, for example in basketball, cycling and more. There has also been a huge breakthrough for women’s sporting events in the Olympics encouraging equality, with the increase of more women’s divisions in sports such as boxing, canoeing and water polo.

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