The sport of tenpin bowling is poised for a momentous leap into the Olympics.
World #1 bowler, Jason Belmonte returned to Australia brimming with optimism following a presentation to the panel assessing bids for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Bowling is one of eight sports shortlisted as a possible addition to the Tokyo 2020 programme and its credentials were boosted with a petition signed by nearly 1 million Japanese, demonstrating the level of national support.
The delegation of eight officials and players included the Presidents of both World Bowling, Kevin Dornberger and the Japan Bowling Congress, Tsutomu Takebe, plus two of the world’s most prominent athletes – Belmonte and World Youth Champion, Shion Izumune from Japan.
“We really promoted Bowling, and really sold the sport on the positives of why it is deserving of a place in the Olympic Games,” Belmonte said. “Bowling is very popular in Japan and they are also very talented bowlers at both amateur and professional level … without a doubt, it would be a huge drawcard for spectators at the Games and to the television audience of Bowling’s enormous fan-base worldwide,” Belmonte explained.
Kevin Dornberger echoed Belmonte’s enthusiasm for Bowling’s eligibility for the Tokyo 2020 programme. “It would be a great honour to be included as an additional event in the Tokyo 2020 Games … Bowling is an exceptional sport that combines outstanding skill and top level performance by extraordinary athletes and we are certain that Bowling will provide a positive and unique impact on the Games”, he added.
In September, organisers will recommend one or more of the shortlisted sports to the IOC for inclusion in the 2020 Games, with the final decision due in August 2016.