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Greek athletics federation wants wrestling kept in Games

Cuba's Livan Lopez Azcuy reacts after defeating Azerbaijan's Jabrayil Hasanov for the bronze medal of the Men's 66Kg Freestyle wrestling at
Cuba's Livan Lopez Azcuy reacts after defeating Azerbaijan's Jabrayil Hasanov for the bronze medal of the Men's 66Kg Freestyle wrestling at

ATHENS (Reuters) - The Greek athletics federation (SEGAS) joined on Tuesday the chorus of opposition to an International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board recommendation to drop wrestling from the Olympic Games.

SEGAS said it fully supported an official petition from the Greek Wrestling Federation and the University of Thessaly urging the IOC to keep wrestling in the summer Games.

Greek Wrestling Federation president Kostas Thanos has condemned the decision as a "sacrilege" of a sport which was practiced in the ancient Olympics. The vote prompted an instant wave of protest and anger from the sport's global community with the international federation calling it an aberration.

Wrestling featured in the first modern Games in Athens in 1896 and in every Games since apart from Paris in 1900

However, last month the IOC's executive board voted to drop wrestling from the list of core sports for the 2020 Games, forcing it to join seven other candidate sports seeking one spot in a revamped program.

The executive board will decide in St Petersburg in May which one of the eight candidate sports will be put forward to win the spot left vacant for the 2020 Games.

It will then put its recommendation to a vote of the full IOC session in Buenos Aires in September.

(Reporting by Graham Wood; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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