Sportclimbing could be included in the 2020 Olympics. Photo: Ram Sripracha CC-BY-SA-3.0

Sportclimbing could be included in the 2020 Olympics. Photo: Ram Sripracha CC-BY-SA-3.0

Sport climbing has passed its latest pitch to become an Olympic sport.

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 games included the activity as one of five that will be considered by the International Olympic Committee to be staged at the event.

Other sports going forward for inclusion are karate, surfing, skateboarding and baseball and softball.

International Federation of Sport Climbing president Marco Scolaris said: “It is a great honour to have been chosen.

“We thank the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel for this fantastic opportunity and the recognition within the Olympic movement. Of course, there is still a long way to go, and all of us at the IFSC are deeply committed to meeting the challenges ahead.

“Together with our athletes and the national federations, we are reaching new heights.”

The IFSC said sport climbing can be practised anywhere. “It’s a worldwide sport; enthusiasts are present in a huge number of countries. It’s a sport for the young, popular and also good for developing strength, flexibility and analytical skills,” a federation spokesperson said.

“As a competitive sport, events can be held in spectacular venues for breathtaking shows, inciting intense emotions in the spectators. Last but not least, it represents the only basic human movement not yet included in the Olympic Games. Sport climbing brings the missing vertical dimension to the world’s most prestigious sport event.”

Sport climbing involves the use of fixed protection and bolts and predominantly takes place on climbing walls. It differs from traditional rock-climbing in that participants don’t place their own runners as they climb, and the emphasis is on technical difficulty and athleticism.

Japanese Mountaineering Association president Yagihara Kunio said: “Now more than ever, we are convinced that sport climbing would be the perfect complement to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme, and be a source of inspiration to the 500,000 Japanese climbers and all the spectators who will discover this sport in real conditions.”

A final decision on which sports will be included in the Tokyo Olympics will be made in August next year.