Squash players campaign for Olympic spot
London, May 18 (IANS) Dipika Pallikal, the highest ranked Indian along with other leading players, including World No.1 Nicol David (women) and James Willstrop (men), have came together at the 02 Arena Friday to show their support for Squash's campaign to become part of the 2020 Olympic Games.
In all, 16 players took time out from the ongoing Allam British Open at the 02 - one of the venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - to back the inclusion of Squash in the Olympic Games from 2020.
Nicol, the record six times World champion from Malaysia who has topped the women's rankings since August 2006, said: "It's the missing link in the Olympic Games. Squash has every element of what a true Olympic sport should be."
"It would be amazing if we were there with all the other racket sports - we have so much to offer the Olympic programme."
Willstrop, the World No.1 from England, said: "Squash is the ultimate Olympic sport. It's what sport should be. We've got everything; it's physical, mental, tactical and psychological."
"Every base has to be covered. It's a true all-round challenge. The sport is also well-established around the world with flourishing men's and women's tours."
Pallikal, the 20-year-old World No.14 from Chennai who led India to its first Asian title last month, added: "Squash is a really demanding sport and its top players are amongst the fittest in any sport.
"The sport can be staged at iconic venues around the world - like here at the famous O2 Arena in London. We would fit perfectly into the Olympic Games."
World Squash Federation president N.Ramachandran of India was delighted with the unanimous show of support.
"It's fantastic that our leading players are so passionate about getting Squash into the Olympic Games. Their support is an important element to our campaign as we head into a crucial 12 months that will see us present to the IOC Programme Commission and Executive Board and explain what the benefits to the Olympic Movement would be if Squash becomes part of the Sports programme for the 2020 Games," said Ramachandran.
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