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European Games has helped shortlist karate for Olympics

Esteban Perez Matas believes that karate has enhanced its chances of being included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics thanks to success at the European Games in Baku.

Karate will be given its chance over the next two months to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme.

The sport, which projected its claims for inclusion in the Olympics at the Baku 2015 European Games, has been shortlisted with seven other sports.

The others are baseball and softball, squash, bowling, roller sports, climbing, surfing and wushu.

Esteban Perez Matas, chairman of the organising committees for the European and World Karate Federations, believes karate's chances were enhanced by the Baku tournament.

"We were able to show the world what an exciting and competitive sport karate is," he said. "We have been trying to get it included in the Olympics programme for many years. Now we think we have a good chance.

"We have to remember that karate has one million competitors around the world and 100 million participants. It doesn't matter how old you are. Not only is it good for the health, it is good for the spirit too.

"It is up to the International Olympic Committee now and we will hope for some good luck."

All eight of the sports federations move on to the second application stage and further submissions will be made by July 22 before briefings in Tokyo on August 7 and 8.

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Turkey's Enes Erkan (front) reacts after winning the gold medal after competing against Germany's Jonathan Horne (background) in the Men's Karate Kumite +84kg, during the 2015 European Games in Baku on June 14, 2015
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
Great BritainGreat Britain69924
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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