Talking Tokyo 2020: YOG sows the seeds for new Olympic sports
After Tokyo celebrated two years to go until the start of the 2020 Olympic Games on 24 July, we look at some of the new sports and events that will be making their debut on the sports programme after first appearing at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Triathlon mixed relay
In a sign of things to come at the YOG, the triathlon mixed relay was one of the most innovative events of the inaugural edition of the Games in Singapore in 2010. With men and women competing in tandem, and teams made up of athletes from different National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Team Europe 1 edged out Team Oceania 1 in an enthralling finish. At Tokyo 2020, teams of two men and two women will take part in a short-course triathlon at Odaiba Marine Park.
Mixed team archery
Just like the triathlon mixed relay, the mixed team archery event in Singapore combined genders and NOCs – and had plenty of excitement too. Anton Karoukin (Belarus) and Gloria Filippi (Italy) joined forces to get the better of Gregor Rajh (Slovenia) and Zoi Paraskevopoulou (Greece) in a thrilling gold-medal match, with Singapore’s Abdud Dayyan Jaffar winning bronze for the host nation alongside Bengunhan Elif Unsai (Turkey). In Tokyo, Dream Island Archery Field will host the mixed team event, where teams of two will go head to head.
Swimming 4x100m mixed medley relay
Continuing the mixed event theme, the addition of the 4x100m mixed medley relay event to the swimming programme for Tokyo 2020 can be traced back to the 2010 YOG. It was in Singapore where Chinese quartet Jianbin He, Ximing Wang, Liu Lan and Tang Yi beat teams from Russia and Australia to win medley gold, using the same format (two men, two women, one relay leg each) that will be seen in Japan.
Of all the events at the YOG Singapore 2010, the 3x3 basketball competition proved to be one of the most popular among fans as teams served up breath-taking skills and action-packed matches. Contested by teams of three players each, both the men’s and women’s events thrilled fans in Singapore, with Serbia and China emerging victorious. In two years’ time, spectators in Tokyo will be treated to more must-see action as the 3x3 event takes place alongside the traditional 12-team tournament.
Best of Buenos Aires
The YOG Buenos Aires 2018 will give fans a first glimpse of three sports and events making their debut on the Olympic programme in Tokyo – karate, sport climbing and BMX freestyle. A demonstration sport at the YOG Nanjing 2014, sport climbing will feature a combined format in Buenos Aires with three disciplines – speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering – while, for karate, the 48 athletes will compete in the kumite discipline in the men’s and women’s event. Meanwhile, the mixed BMX freestyle park team event will see riders – competing on smaller, lighter bikes – perform aerial tricks and jumps over ramps in front of a panel of judges.