There are just around two months left for the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. We look at the five new sports that have been included in the event for the first time. The likes of sport climbing, baseball/softball, skateboarding, karate, and surfing will be the new inclusions to be witnessed in Tokyo.
1. Sport climbing
Lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing are the three disciplines that combine to make up the new event called sport climbing. There will be 20 spots for men and women in the sport. Each country can occupy a maximum of two spots. Initially, there was criticism associated with including just one medal by combining all three disciplines. There will be a separate medal included for speed climbing in the next edition of the Olympics.
Baseball and softball for men and women respectively will be included in this year’s Olympics for the first time since the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing. The formats for both are a bit different.
In softball, six qualified teams will take part in a single round-robin in Tokyo. From that, the four best teams will play the bronze medal and gold medal match.
Baseball will also consist of six qualified teams. They will be put in two groups of three teams each. Every side will compete with their group opponents before the bronze and gold medal match after the rankings are decided.
The IOC has included this event in Tokyo as well as the Paris edition, which will be held in 2024. Skateboarding has two disciplines, namely park and street.
Park skating consists of immense bowls where the skateboarders perform tricks, based on which they pick scores.
In street skating, it is much vivid with the types of surfaces and structures they skate on. There will be slopes, curbs, walls, handrails, etc. and the players are rated on parameters like speed, height, execution, composition, etc.
Played by 192 countries, Karate will be making its first-ever Olympic appearance in Tokyo. It has two disciplines, namely Kumite and Kata.
There are six Kumite events, classified by weight (3 for men, 3 for women). Competitors face each other in an arena with the dimensions 8m x 8m. The time limit is three minutes; the opponent who gets 8 points first is deemed the winner. If nobody gets 8 points, the one who gets the most points in 3 minutes, is the winner. If it ends in a draw, the one who gets the first point is declared the winner.
In Kata, the participant stands in the area alone, demonstrating a form of Kata. The points are given by the judges.
Surfing will have two events – men’s and women’s shortboard. There will be a total of 40 qualified competitors participating (20 in each event). Each heat will have 4 players for 25 minutes. The two best ones will progress. The speed, power, and flow of each move will be rated by the judges from 1 to 10.