GENEVA (AP) — Women’s boxing, mixed doubles in tennis and 50-meter sprints in swimming are among the events being considered this week for inclusion in the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee executive board will meet in Berlin on Thursday to consider a range of changes put forward by the 26 summer Olympic sports federations.

The board also will recommend two sports for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics, with golf and rugby sevens the favorites in a group that also includes baseball, softball, karate, squash and roller sports.

The 15-member board must weigh its stated goals of gender equality and universality while keeping within a limit of 10,500 athletes.

The most dramatic change for 2012 would be the introduction of women’s classes in boxing, the only summer Olympic sport exclusively for men.

“The thousands of female athletes who practice religiously and compete in national, intercontinental and international competition with the dream of one day, possibly, being able to celebrate the world’s greatest sporting occasion, deserve the opportunity,” said Richard Baker, spokesman for boxing’s governing body AIBA.

AIBA is proposing that 40 female boxers compete in London, with eight in each of five weight categories. They range from 104 pounds, comparable to the men’s light flyweight class, up to 165 pounds, equal to the men’s middleweights.

Men’s boxing would lose 40 places across 11 weights to keep the sport within its limit of 286 Olympic athletes.

IOC president Jacques Rogge has said the time is right for women’s boxing after the proposal was rejected four years ago for failing to reach standards of medical safety and universality. However, its approval is not a certainty, as some board members are not enthusiastic about adding women’s boxing.

The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, a London-based group, urged the IOC on Tuesday to accept women’s boxing as part of its stated drive for gender equity.

“Women’s boxing at London 2012 would be a great step forward but women are still losing out in other Olympic sports,” said Sue Tibballs, the chief executive. “In Beijing 165 medals were available to men versus 124 to women.”

Swimming governing body FINA is seeking eight more medal races — 50-meter backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly for men and women, the 800 freestyle for men and 1,500 free for women — for a total of 42 to match its world championships program.

FINA also wants to add four teams in women’s water polo and synchronized swimming for 12-nation competitions, and introduce a free combined event in synchronized.

The International Tennis Federation wants to add a 16-pairing mixed doubles tournament to its four existing gold medals in singles and doubles for men and women.

Mixed doubles was last played at the 1924 Paris Olympics when Hazel Wightman and Richard Williams won as part of a United States sweep of the five golds.

After BMX racing debuted in Beijing last year, the International Cycling Union would like to add BMX freestyle events for men and women in London.

The International Canoe Federation wants to give women a greater share of its 16 medal events.

“It doesn’t reflect participation rates of 60 percent men, 40 percent women. The IOC has recognized that we need to tackle this issue,” ICF secretary general Simon Toulson said.

Modern pentathlon, one of the oldest and most traditional of Olympic sports, is seeking a change.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, designed the sport as a test of soldiering skills in which competitors must shoot, fence, swim for 200 meters, ride a horse over a showjumping course and run 3,000 meters.

The International Modern Pentathlon Union voted last year to combine pistol shooting and running into one final discipline with a staggered start.

The changes aim to shorten the event and create a more dynamic finish in which the winner is determined by crossing the line first rather than accumulating the most points.


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