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Redbridge's squash supremo Richie Fallows down but not out after IOC snub squash inclusion
2:12pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Sport
Redbridge's Richie Fallows cannot hide his disappointment at squash's latest Olympic snub but he believes there is still plenty to aim for as he moves upwards and onwards.
The 18-year-old saw his Olympic dreams dashed as the IOC met in Buenos Aires at the weekend to decide which city would host the 2020 Games and which new sport would be included.
Tokyo triumphed as the host city while squash and baseball/softball were ousted for inclusion for the 2020 and 2024 Games in favour of a reprieve for wrestling, which had been dropped in February.
Squash also failed in its bid to earn a place at the Rio 2016 Olympics four years ago with golf and rugby sevens on that occasion chosen with the latest news leaving Fallows frustrated.
But while the prospect of an Olympic appearance in 2020 would have served as the ultimate motivation, Fallows believes squash will recover and continue its growth on the world stage.
"Everyone took it really hard I think," said Fallows, a former Redbridge College pupil. "They put in such a big bid this year and they have worked so hard. They did so much, so it was disappointing.
"It was always going to be tough anyway. I read a few things in the run-up to the vote and I wasn’t too confident but obviously I was still gutted.
"I don’t think it is as well known as other sports - I don’t think people understand it as much as wrestling - but right now GB would have had about three or four medals if it was in the Olympics.
"There are still lots of other things to work towards. There is still the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships and the British Open.
"I think the sport will get bigger and bigger and hopefully someone will see the amount that we have done and help us out."
Fallows enjoyed a productive campaign last season, briefly jumping to the top of the world junior rankings and reaching the quarter-finals of the British Under-23 National Championships.
He also finished third at the World Junior Championships in Poland in July and Fallows admits he is expecting success of a similar nature this season.
"Last season was good," he said. "I played for England in Poland and I came third at the World Junior Championships - it was great.
"At the moment I have had a good six weeks of training after a holiday. I won a pro tournament at Leamington Spa and played a high-grade tournament in Nottingham and lost in the quarters.
"Coming up I have two tournaments in Spain and one in Romania, so I have quite a bit on."
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds TSB’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes