• Kyodo


Japanese sports leaders showed mixed feelings of relief and annoyance Friday after the International Olympic Committee put off a vote over a proposal that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be dropped from the Olympic program.

“I think it was an appropriate decision,” Japanese IOC member Shunichiro Okano said after the IOC general assembly meeting.

Okano and fellow-Japanese IOC member Chiharu Igaya would have voted in support of keeping baseball and softball, which have combined to earn Japan three medals.

Japan Amateur Baseball Federation president Eiichiro Yamamoto, however, was bewildered with the decision.

“It’s annoying for both baseball and organizers of the Beijing Olympics. The survival of baseball has yet to be guaranteed and I’m far from being relieved,” Yamamoto said.

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