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Tough at the top for Nenad Lalovic (right) to lose wrestling's ''boring'' tag

Phuket Summit Bids to Save Olympic Wrestling From Being 'Boring'

Saturday, February 16, 2013
PHUKET: The ''B'' word - boring - appears to be wrestling's biggest problem. The sport's leading supporters undertook to do something about being boring when they met on Phuket today.

Wrestling's future as an Olympic Games sport is likely to become more obvious when the a delegate from the sport meets International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge next month.

Just who that person will be and precisely when the meeting will happen wasn't made plain as the sport's key body, FILA, the French acronym by which the group is known, gathered on Phuket.

Boring the Phuket meeting was not. The announcement was made of the resignation of FILA President Raphael Martinetti.

His successor's major task will be to restore the sport - one of the originals from the modern Games and a healthy pursuit in the ancient ones - to the 2020 Olympics.

On Tuesday, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee dumped wrestling from its guaranteed berth in future Summer games, forcing the sport to compete for a spot on the program.

By Saturday, Mr Martinetti was also dumped.

Nenad Lalovic of Serbia chaired a media conference at the Duangjitt Resort in Patong on Phuket's west coast this afternoon, where the sport's governing body has been meeting for the first time outside Europe.

''Professionals and PR agencies'' would become involved in helping the sport to regain its place on the Olympic schedule, Mr Lalovic said.

A large contingent of international journalists turned out for the meeting. What did Mr Lalovic say to the thinking that the sport might be ''a little bit boring?'' one journalist asked.

''Boring?'' Mr Lalovic responded. ''This is a point of view. For me it is very interesting.'' The aim from here on in, though, is to ''make it more interesting,'' Mr Lalovic admitted.

He said the next three months would bring proposed changes to the rules, with ''many Olympic champions and world champions'' having a say.

Both the US and Russia are strong supporters of wrestling with Russia's Mikhail Mamiashvili keen to make the point today that 72 medals had been awarded to 26 countries from four continents in London in 2012.

Mr Mamiashvili is said to have spent some condsiderable time persuading colleagues to oust Switzerland's Mr Martinetti.

Japan and other countries around the table undertook to lobby hard for the retention of wrestling.

''We are not definitely defeated yet,'' Mr Lalovic said. ''We will exercise our sport in 2016 and we are practically assured that we will continue to compete in 2020 and 2024.''

Phuketwan can't offer advice on changing wrestling's rules. But wearing red noses and party hats and perhaps returning to the ancient Greek tradition of competing nude might quickly put an end to the ''boring'' tag.

And let's face it, if ''boring'' was a problem with Olympic sports, who let in synchronised swimming?

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What do you get at the end of the day with wrestling, a medal and cauliflower ears? No loss to the olympics. Kitesurfing will take wrestling's place.

Posted by Duncan B on February 17, 2013 10:49

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At this stage it is semi official, the replacement sports are Kitesurfing as Duncan B said, but also Tiddlywinks.

Posted by Inky on February 17, 2013 11:53


Saturday August 30, 2014
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