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Industry: Squash still has a great future, says PSA boss Gough

World No. 1 Ramy Ashour (right) was part of the squash delegation that made its presentation at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires. Photo: PSA.

World No. 1 Ramy Ashour (right) was part of the squash delegation that made its presentation at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires. Photo: PSA.

September 9, 2013: Despite being devastated by the IOC decision to choose wrestling ahead of squash as the ‘new’ sport to join the 2020 Olympic Games programme, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) stresses that the sport has a ‘great future’.

 

“We are obviously devastated, not only for the whole sport and squash fans everywhere but also for the players, current and future, that have worked so hard for this,” said PSA CEO Alex Gough.

 

“We can be very proud of the efforts of everyone and none more so than our World No. 1 Ramy Ashour, who has put in so much time into the bid process.”

 

It was at Sunday’s meeting of the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires that squash – shortlisted with wrestling and baseball/softball as one of three sports being considered for addition to the 2020 Olympic Games programme, and the only one never to have been in the Games before – lost out to wrestling.

 

“The presentation in Buenos Aires was something we can all be proud of and shows the great future that squash has, with or without the Olympics,” Gough said. “Our sport has much to offer the Games. Let’s hope that this is not the end of our Olympic journey.”

 

Among numerous reactions from PSA members across the world, England’s former World No. 1 Nick Matthew said: “Despite the disappointment, the world of squash can be massively proud of its efforts over these past four years.”

 

Narayana Ramachandran, President of the World Squash Federation (WSF), led the squash presentation at the IOC Session and admitted he was crestfallen at the decision.

 

“The decision is heart-breaking for the millions of squash players around the world, particularly given the 10-year journey we’ve been on to join the Olympic Games Sports Programme,” Ramachandran said.

 

“As the only new Olympic sport on the shortlist, we believed squash offered something for the future and I still hope that our inclusion may still be possible.

 

“The feedback we’ve received from many IOC members for our campaign and our presentation has been very positive and I’m encouraged by the vote we received. We have much to offer the Olympic Movement and I am hopeful that this is not the end of our Olympic journey.”

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