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Athletics, swimming to be only compulsory sports at Commonwealth Games

Athletics and swimming will be the only compulsory sports at future Commonwealth Games in a move to give hosts greater flexibility and attract new audiences.

The “2026/30 Strategic Roadmap” approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Monday recommends an optimum number of about 15 sports from 2026.

Sports that have been optional in the past such as Twenty20 cricket and 3v3 basketball have now been moved onto a 22-strong list of core sports.

Bidders will also be able to propose the inclusion of sports of cultural relevance such as lacrosse and wall climbing.

Co-hosting across multiple cities, regions and countries will be an option and the roadmap makes a recommendation to “explore e-sports including potential pilot events”.

CGF president Louise Martin said the plans mark “the start of an exciting new era for the Commonwealth Games”.

“Our Games need to adapt, evolve and modernise to ensure we continue to maintain our relevance and prestige across the Commonwealth,” she added.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics featured skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing for the first time, partly in a bid to attract younger audiences.

Breakdancing has been approved for the 2024 Paris Olympics and e-sports will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in China.

Birmingham, in central England, is staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with 19 different sports on the programme, but no host has yet been secured for the 2026 event.

The Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries, largely made up of former British colonies.

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