09 Oct 2015

Karate has been selected as one of five sports to be recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

The host nation have put it forward after being given the chance to select one or more sports that are popular in Japan with the hope of boosting domestic interest, television ratings and attracting sponsors. 

The World Karate Federation (WKF) President, Antonio Espinos, said: “It would be like a dream to be a permanent sport at the olympics.

“It would bring so many benefits to society.”

The ancient sport has never before been included at the the world’s biggest sporting competition and had failed bids for both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. 

With the WKF estimating that there are over 100,000,000 practitioners around the world it is unsurprising that karate has been shortlisted again. 

Although its exact form, if accepted, is still up for debate. Some karateka’s support kumite, which is full contact while others advocate its non-contact variant, kata.

In the event of a successful bid karate would join judo, teakwondo and wrestling as martial arts represented at the Olympics. 

The four other choices available to the International Olympic Committee are surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and baseball/softball.

The IOC will make a decision in August 2016.