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The WBSC pushes forward on an Olympic bid

Baseball and softball top the shortlist of sports competing for spots as additional attractions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics along with karate, bowling, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, surfing and wushu. These sports are the final eight, whittled down by a committee from the original 26 sports which applied for inclusion earlier this month.

Baseball and softball, united under the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), are strong favorites to return to the Olympics for the first time since Asia last hosted the Summer Games, in Beijing in 2008.

"This is a great day for our sport," WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari said in a statement. "Today baseball and softball, and the millions of athletes and fans who call it their sport, reached first base.”

A final decision will come in August 2016.