IOC approves new events for London 2012

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today approved the inclusion of a mixed doubles tennis event as well as several changes to the track cycling programme of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The requested changes came from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) as part of the IOC’s systematic review of the Olympic programme. The changes reflect the IOC’s desire to continually refresh the programme, as well as its commitment to increase women’s participation.

The inclusion of the tennis mixed doubles event will not increase the current number of athletes and will bring an added value to the Olympic programme by providing another opportunity for men and women to compete together on the same field of play.

The changes to the track cycling programme see the number of women’s events increase from three in Beijing in 2008 to five in London, with the total number of track cycling events now at five each for men and women. There were seven men’s events and three women’s events in Beijing.

The EB agreed to this modification as the UCI has adjusted its track cycling programme to remain within its current number of events and athletes.

These changes in the track cycling programme bring the number of women cyclists at the Games to 84, up from 35 in Beijing. Women will now make up 45% of the total number of track cyclists at the Games (compared to 19% in Beijing).

Both men and women will now compete in the sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit, and omnium events. To make room for the increased participation of women and the inclusion of the new event, omnium, the men’s and women’s individual pursuit, men’s and women’s points race and men’s Madison events will no longer be part of the Olympic programme.

Omnium, a track cycling competition that is part of the UCI’s World Championships, can be compared to the decathlon in athletics, with six competitions, including individual pursuit and a points race.

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