Baseball5 and wushu added to Youth Olympic Games programme at Dakar 2022

IOC Executive Board also approves dates for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, the first Games held in Africa.

By ZK Goh ·

Baseball5 and wushu will make their first appearance on a Games programme at the Dakar 2022 Summer Youth Olympics, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) approved the additions at a meeting on Wednesday (8 January) on the sidelines of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

The Dakar 2022 Organising Committee had asked for the two sports' inclusion, according to the IOC.

"The addition has the potential to further develop these two exciting sports in Africa," an IOC statement said.

Baseball, in its full nine-a-side nine-inning form, is making a return to the adult Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, while wushu was held as an exhibition event during the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.

The Dakar 2022 Games will be staged from 22 October to 9 November 2022.

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Gender equality

The additions of the two new sports – with five new events expected – will not affect the total gender equality at the Games.

Baseball5, which sees five players a side play five innings with the only equipment needed being a rubber ball, will be a mixed-gender team event.

It is the first Olympic team sport to be mixed-gender. Each team will include four men and four women.

Meanwhile, four events will be held in wushu, also known as "Chinese kungfu": men's and women's changquan, and men's and women's taijiquan.

"It is designed to play into our plans to have more gender equality and it is something that appeals to youth," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

"Both sports have a lot of interest in Africa and I think they will be a big success."

Other non-traditional Olympic events being held in the Senegalese capital are breaking, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Beach wrestling is also set to make its Games debut.

It means all the additional sports selected by both Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 will be contested at Dakar 2022.

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Games dates

The Games have also had their dates confirmed. They will take place from 22 October to 9 November 2022.

Originally, it had been proposed that the Games take place earlier in the year, in May or June.

The IOC says the finalised dates were chosen after consulting National Olympic Committees, International Federations, and its own Athletes' Commission.

"For the large majority of athletes, the proposal better suits the school curriculum," the IOC said.

"From a climate standpoint, the YOG will take place at the beginning of the dry season.

"And for Dakar and Senegal, the dates coincide with Africa Youth Day (1 November), which is an important milestone in the calendar – school pupils will have more time to participate and contribute."