Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

Mixed relay cross-country proposed for 2024 Olympics in Paris

The 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, may have a new event as mixed relay cross-country has been proposed for the Games

Cross-country racing has not featured in a Games in over 100 years

In this March 4, 2020, file photo the Olympic rings are seen near the New National Stadium in Tokyo. (Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press)

The 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, may have a new event.

Mixed relay cross-country has been proposed for those Games. Countries would have two men and women with each running two legs of the 2.5 kilometre course.

World Athletics will discuss whether or not to approve the event coming into the Games. Cross-country racing has not been part of the Olympics in over 100 years.

"My love for athletics began with cross country," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told a news conference after a meeting in Monaco.

"It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century, and for a new generation of runners to fall in love with the glorious challenge of running off-piste."

The status of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics remains in question despite its tentatively scheduled start date of July 23, 2021 following pandemic-related postponement.

President of the Japanese organizing committee Yoshiro Mori said last week the Games could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus continue as they are. Mori suggested a vaccine was crucial if things are to change.

Meanwhile, Canada's Dick Pound, a long-time member of the International Olympic Committee, said if the Tokyo Games are cancelled due to the coronavirus it would likely trigger a knock-on effect taking out the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, China as well.

with files from Reuters

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