Get your kicks: Garon Wilkinson shows off his skills. *File photo
Get your kicks: Garon Wilkinson shows off his skills. *File photo
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Garon Wilkinson won’t hold his breath, but he’s hoping wushu will be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The sport is one of seven vying to be included in the Games which will be held in one of three cities, Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.

The others on the short list include wrestling — which lost its guaranteed spot in the Olympics — squash, wakeboarding, sport climbing, karate, and roller sports.

Prior to wrestling being dropped, punters were giving wushu 5/2 odds at being included, with karate the favourite at 1/2.

Wushu was also behind baseball and softball, which is hoping for a comeback after being dropped for the London Games.

Wilkinson told the Bermuda Sun with wrestling back in the mix, the odds are longer now with those who support the grappling sport looking for a return of favour.

“It decreases our chances with wrestling being there.

“Karate has been bidding for a long time and they’ve been pushing since 1996. Globally they have more exposure than wushu does.

 “Wushu has been bidding to get into the Olympics since it was included as an exhibition event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“With wrestling now being thrown back into the hat and competing with the other six sports trying to get in, it doesn’t look as good.

“It’s always been my ambition to try to get into the Olympics. I missed that opportunity back in 2008 when my weight category for sanshou wasn’t included.

“The qualifier for that was the World Championships in 2007. We found out a couple of months before that only the 56, 70 and 85 kilogram (weight classes) were going to be included in the Olympic tournament. At that time I was fighting at 75 kilograms so that pretty much dashed my hopes of being able to go to the Olympics.

“I continued to compete in sanshou up to 2009 when the World Championships in Toronto.”

He decided to take a step back from the sport to help its younger stars like Jamel Woolridge and Sentwali Woolridge take the lead.

“I shifted my focus to taolu, which is the forms.”

He competed at the World Championships in Turkey in 2011 as well as the Pan American Championships.

“It’s a lot different than the traditional kung fu that I’ve been doing since I was a kid.”

Wilkinson said it involves more acrobatics and precision in landing is highly important.

“To make up for my lack of wushu training, I’ve taken up some gymnastics and spending some time doing yoga to try to increase my flexibility.”

Wilkinson, who is 33, said many of his international competitors are almost half his age.

“The guy who won the Pan American Championship in 2010 was only 17 and had just won the Junior Championship. I’m competing with a lot of younger guys who have been doing it since they were young.”

Wilkinson recently received a wild card entry into the 2013 World Games being held in Cali Colombia in July and August.

“I’m in serious training. Medalling is not my concern — I’m concentrating on going out there and putting on a really good performance to make my country and my region proud.”