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Wrestling added to inaugural Euro Games

Olympics: Wrestling-Men's Freestyle 84 kg-Quarterfinals

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Wrestling may be out of the 2020 Games (for now), but the (suddenly) popular sport was added to the inaugural European Games in 2015 in Azerbaijan.

“I’d like to thank the EOC for its constructive approach in welcoming the sport of wrestling into the inaugural European Games in Baku,” FILA acting president Nenad Lalovic said Tuesday after signing a letter of understanding with the event.

“This is important to our sport and it will take place in one of the most passionate wrestling countries.”

Wrestling’s governing body had previously decided not to take part in the event, but changed its tune after the sport was surprisingly ousted from the 2020 program during an IOC executive board vote last month. The new European Games will include both freestyle and Greco-Roman events, and will serve as a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics.