The International Olympic Committee has voted to include rugby sevens and golf at the 2016 Olympics.
The IOC’s executive board recommended the two sports be added in a recent meeting in Berlin. A further meeting will be held in Copenhagen this October, where the decision should become official.
‘This is a very significant day for rugby and as a former sevens player and now coach, I want to thank the IRB for their dedication and commitment to spreading this exciting sport to all corners of the globe,’ said Bok Sevens coach Paul Treu.
‘The important recommendation is further proof that sevens has now truly established itself as a world sport. The prospect of Olympic participation and the possibility of a medal at the world’s biggest sports gathering will have a profound influence on rugby players’ careers.
‘I am absolutely delighted and I am sure that the recommendation will now change the perception of sevens rugby as a minor sport, even amongst the traditional rugby playing countries.
If the executive board’s decision is accepted, the IRB will scrap the Sevens World Cup to ensure the Olympics is the sport’s top event.
Golf and rugby sevens were preferred over various other sports for the 2016 Games. Softball, squash, baseball, karate and roller sports were all hoping to make the Olympic cut.