Wrestling, squash and baseball-softball made the IOC shortlist Wednesday for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.
Three months after being dropped from the 2020 program, wrestling took a big step toward keeping its Olympic status.
Eight sports were vying for a single opening on the lineup.
Eliminated from contention were five sports - karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.
The IOC executive board will submit wrestling, squash and baseball-softball to the full IOC assembly for a final decision on September 8 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"It's a good mix of team sports and individual," IOC vice president Thomas Bach said.
The decision came after the eight sports federations made closed-door presentations to the IOC executive board.
Men's baseball and women's softball, which have been off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games, merged into a single federation to improve their chances.
Squash is bidding for an Olympic spot for a third time.
Wrestling, with a tradition dating to the ancient Olympics, was surprisingly cut from the list of core sports by the IOC board in February.
The decision caused an international outcry and prompted the United States, Russia, Iran and other countries to join forces in a bid to bring the sport back.