5 new sports to watch at this summer’s Olympics

Posted 07.02.2020

This summer the land of the rising sun will play host to the 29th Olympic Games. Taking place in Tokyo for the second time, having previously hosted the 1964 Olympic Games, the 2020 Olympics will see no less than five new sports added to the Olympic program.

We can’t wait for the Olympics to begin so we thought we would find out a little more about the five new sports that are set to capture the sporting world’s attention this summer.

Surfing

Surfing will make its debut in Tokyo when the 40 leading surfers from around the world take to the waves of Tsurigasaki Beach, 40 miles outside of Tokyo. Unlike other Olympic events, the surfing competition allows a 16-day waiting period to ensure the competition can take place in conditions that can provide the best competition possible.

Athletes will take part in a heat, with the two leading surfers progressing to the next stage where they will compete in one-on-one competitions until the medalist’s are determined.

The surfing competition will feature both men’s and women’s competitions with scoring conducted by a team of judges. The judges will determine an athletes score by the variety, difficulty level, speed, power and flow of their performance.

Karate

Karate joins judo, boxing, wrestling and tae kwon do as a martial art in the Olympics. Unlike the other mixed martial arts competed in at the Olympics, athletes taking part in Karate can use a multitude of different punches, kicks, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques to win their fights.

The Tokyo Olympics will feature two Karate disciplines, Kumite, a sparing discipline and Kata, a form of Karate that focuses on form.

The 2020 Olympics will see the Kumite discipline competed in across three separate weight classifications for both men and women. While Kata, will include just one weight class each for men and women.

Skateboarding

Athletes competing in the skateboarding competition will be able to compete in two different skateboarding disciplines, park and street.

The park discipline will see athletes attempt a series of complex tricks and grabs in an arena that features a series of ramps, half pipes, bowls and quarter pipes. Skaters will be scored by a panel of judges who will judge a competitor’s performance based on their speed, height of jumps, and grabs.

The street discipline will see skaters awarded points for how they tackle reproductions of obstacles found within an urban environment, including handrails, benches, stair sets, and boxes.

Baseball / Softball

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will see baseball and softball return to the Olympics for the first time in 12-years.

When the sport last featured in the Olympics, the baseball gold medal was claimed by South Korea, with the traditional baseballing power houses of Cuba and the USA having to settle for the silver and bronze medal.

Meanwhile, the women’s softball competition saw 2020 Olympic hosts, Japan, claim gold, with the USA again having to settle for one of the minor medals along with Australia.

The 2020 Olympic Baseball competition will see two teams of nine men compete against each other, taking turns both batting and pitching. Each game will see each team take part in nine innings, with each team aiming to score the maximum number of runs during that time.

The softball competition will see two teams of women compete against one another in the same format as that used in baseball.

Although following the same format and rules as baseball, softball does have some small differences, notably, the use of a slightly larger ball, smaller field parameters and pitchers throw the ball under arm as opposed to over arm in baseball.

Sport Climbing

Sport Climbing will make its long awaited debut in the Olympic program when the competition begins on the 4th August 2020. The event is set to captivate fans with its combination of speed, technique and the ingenuity of its competitors.

The Olympic Sport Climbing program includes three varieties of rock climbing – bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing.

Bouldering is the most technical discipline, and will see competitors free climb up a section of wall without the assistance of ropes. The athlete who is able to climb the assigned challenge in the fewest attempts will be declared the winner.

Unlike bouldering, lead climbing requires athletes to climb as high up a designated route as possible, while assisted by ropes. The athletes who reach the summit of the climb in the quickest time or reach a higher point than their opponents is declared the winner.

Finally, speed climbing sees athletes go head-to-head in a knockout format, with the winner determined by the time taken to scale the 15m high wall.

To find out more about the Olympic program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, visit, https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/

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