Compound bid for LA28 Olympics unsuccessful, only new sports added

Jyothi Surekha Vennam shoots at the world championships.

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee has opted not to propose additional disciplines of existing sports for inclusion on the programme of the LA28 Olympic Games.

This means that compound archery will not be introduced to the Olympics in 2028.

Delegates at the upcoming International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai will instead vote on adding five new sports – baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse and squash – to the programme in Los Angeles.

The disciplines of all sports already confirmed for the programme will remain the same as planned at Paris 2024, except for rowing in which a beach sprint event will replace the lightweight double sculls to optimise Games infrastructure.

“We share in the disappointment of the many compound archers worldwide who had hoped for the bowstyle’s inclusion at the Olympics in 2028,” said World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen. “Although it is not the news we wanted to receive, the support of everyone involved in this process means we are convinced that it will be a case of when, not if, a compound competition will be added to the Olympics.”

“We have all seen the value of compound’s inclusion at multisport events, most recently at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, and it will continue to sit in the spotlight at the upcoming Pan Am Games, next year’s Paralympic Games and at the World Games in 2025.”

“Our focus now is on making the archery competitions at Paris 2024 an outstanding success, and continuing to amplify the universal appeal of our sport.”

World Archery had requested to include the discipline of indoor archery for compound athletes at LA28, ideally reusing a venue from another sport, in addition to the five events currently on the programme for recurve archers.

The proposal was built on the strength of indoor archery in the USA and the global growth of the compound division.

Recurve and compound are treated equally at international archery events, with the same number of medals and amount of prize money on offer, including at the World Archery Championships and on the Hyundai Archery World Cup. Last month’s Asian Games were the first to include a full slate of five compound events, equal to the recurve programme.

Compound bows are most popular in the USA, where they were invented in the 1960s, with an estimated 20 million people per year shooting a bow.

There are multiple domestic competition circuits attracting 1000s of participants and offering significant prize money. The compound open championship – open to both genders – is the featured event at the annual Vegas Shoot, which is the largest archery tournament in the world and attracts more than 4000 professional and amateur archers each year.