The International Olympic Committee (IOC) finalized the events being added to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, finally deciding to add 3-on-3 basketball, as well as mixed gender events in swimming and track and field.
The announcement comes on the heels of the IOC also announcing the addition of several new sports to the program in 2020, including skateboarding, sport climbing, baseball, softball, karate and surfing.
The 3-on-3 basketball tournament will feature eight teams on both the men’s and women’s side. In international competition, they are generally one-basket games with teams of four players. Games are normally either ten minutes, or the first team to score 21 points. It was an event in the past two Youth Olympic Games, with several D1 players, including players from the women’s UConn teams getting involved.
It isn’t known yet if NBA players would even be allowed to join the competition, but players have already weighed in on the idea. LeBron James said he wouldn’t likely participate in the event. Breanna Stewart meanwhile, has expressed interest in participating in both basketball events in 2020.
Some argue that it may be disappointing to withhold some of the world’s best basketball players from competing, if only to allow worse players to join in. On the other hand, there are 3-on-3 specialists that may be better than NBA players in the event. The IOC plans to announce eligibility rules at a later date.
Swimming added a mixed medley relay, as well as the 800m freestyle for men, and the 1500m freestyle for women. While the Americans don’t have any strong men in the longer distances with the retirement of Connor Jaeger, the addition of the 1500 on the women’s docket seems to be another easy gold medal for Katie Ledecky, who holds the world record in the event.
The mixed relay in the 4X400m on the track gives the United States another great opportunity to medal, given their dominance in the event in the past. The IAAF added the event to the World Relays this past spring, and the Bahamas took home the title.
The IOC added and shifted several other events as well. This included the removal of some weightclasses in fighting events, adding different disciplines in sailing and fencing, while including even more mixed events in archery, table tennis, judo, shooting and triathlon. In all, the recent movement will add 15 more medal events to the Olympics in 2020, not including the new sports.