December 8, 2014 / 11:53 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Olympics-IOC vote threatens hammer blow to some athletes

(Recasts, adding detail)

By Ossian Shine

MONACO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Olympic dreams of some athletes look set to be shattered after Games chiefs agreed on Monday to scrap a cap on the number of sports, preferring instead a limit on events.

While that means sports fighting to win a coveted spot on the Summer Games programme have received a boost, existing sports with multiple events will need to jettison some disciplines to make room for the newcomers.

If sports such as baseball, softball, squash or karate are to feature, something will have to give.

Canadian International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound said there had been a “huge degree of consensus”, before speculating on which ones could face the axe.

“Everybody has to share the load for the good of the Olympics,” he told Reuters.

When asked which events he thought the Games could do without in order to pave the way for some new ones, Pound said: “synchronised swimming... and maybe triple jump.”

Any evaluation of sports and events would be done in collaboration with the sports’ international federations, the IOC said.

It will decide on the events programme for an Olympics not later than three years prior to the opening of the Games.

Meeting at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, IOC members agreed to drop the cap on 28 sports, voting instead to limit the Summer Games to 10,500 athletes and 310 events.

“This movement to an event-based programme will offer more flexibility,” IOC member Franco Carraro told members.

Members can now brace themselves for a period of intense lobbying ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games, with baseball and softball in particular seeking a spot on the programme.

Golf and Rugby Sevens join the programme for the 2016 Games in Rio. (Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann in Monaco; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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