A new race walking team event will be introduced for the first time ever at the 2024 Paris Olympics. The event will comprise of a male and a female athlete covering the marathon distance in four legs of equal measure, as per the format released on Saturday.
The International Olympic Committee and World Athletics came to a consensus on the format with a distance of 42.195km owing to "its existing popularity in athletics and link to the traditions of the Olympic Games."
The event will feature 25 teams and each athlete will complete two legs of just over 10km.
“We’re excited to have another mixed relay on the Olympic programme to showcase the skills of both our female and male athletes in one event,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon in a statement.
“This format is designed to be innovative, dynamic and unpredictable. We believe it will be easily understood by fans and, importantly, it will ensure full gender equality across the Olympic track and field programme for the first time,” he added.
As per the format, the race will be started by the male athlete with the female athlete taking over the second leg. The third leg will then once again be completed by a male athlete, before the female athlete races to the finish line.
The event will last for about three hours and be held on the same course as the individual race walking events, which will be at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The team qualification pathway for the event will be published shortly, World Athletics said.
The Paris Games will be held from July 26 to Aug. 11.