5 sports that deserve an Olympic place more than golf


The apparent emergence of a new South American super-mosquito which specifically targets rich, male, highly-ranked golfers is playing havoc with the sport's imminent return to the Olympic programme.

World number one Jason Day became the latest to pull out due to fears over the virus this week, leaving only a handful of dozen others to follow suit before the sport is necessarily declared absent without leave.

Here are five suggestions - four of which are on the programme for the 2017 World Games, seen as a trial by the IOC for future Olympic inclusion - which we consider eminently worthy of taking golf's place.

1. 3-cushion carom

The World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association is planning a bid for the 2020 Games. Chief exec Jason Ferguson says: "I don't think there is another sport on this planet that could do it as well as us." While most assume he means snooker, we personally support the candidacy of 3-cushion carom, or billiards.

2. Finswimming

Finswimming is the umbrella term for a number of underwater disciplines, which allows us to repeat one of our favourite Olympic anecdotes about the underwater swimming competition at the 1900 Olympics, when despite spending far more time under water than his rivals, Peder Lykkeberg was denied gold because he inadvertently swam in a circle.

3. Tug of war

Tug of War was contested at five Olympics before it was ridiculously left off the programme from 1924 onwards. Fifty-three nations are currently affiliated to the World Tug of War Federation. Previous Olympic gold medallists include the City of London Police, Stockholm Police, and the Milwaukee Athletic Club.

4. Ultimate flying disc

Forget disc golf, which is basically regular golf but without frisbees and without the checkered trousers and pompous attitudes. Ultimate flying disc has more in common with gridiron, with two teams trying to fling - and catch - the disc in their opponents' end zone.

5. Fencing (not that one)

The UK Fencing Championships take place annually at Driffield Show. Strength, solidity and aesthetic beauty are just three of the qualities we believe make this particular type of fencing a shoo-in to the Olympic programme - and not a foil or an epee in sight.