World Athletics and the International Olympic Committee have agreed on the format for the new race walking team event that will make its debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Marathon Race Walk Mixed Relay will feature 25 teams, each comprising one male and one female athlete, who will complete the marathon distance (42.195km) in four legs of approximately equal distance.
Each athlete will complete two legs of just over 10km each, alternating male, female, male, female.
The marathon distance was selected because of its existing popularity in athletics and link to the traditions of the Olympic Games.
The event will be held on the same course as the individual race walking events, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, and will be completed in about three hours. The requirement of each athlete to complete two legs, will add an endurance component to the race.
The team qualification pathway for this new event will be published shortly.
World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said: “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. This format is designed to be innovative, dynamic and unpredictable. We believe it will be easily understood by fans, will feature exciting competition and, importantly, it will ensure full gender equality across the Olympic track and field programme for the first time”.
The Marathon Race Walk Mixed Relay will be held on Wednesday 7 August 2024 at 7.30am, six days after the individual 20km race walking events launch the Paris Olympic athletics programme on Thursday 1 August.
The full Olympic athletics programme will span 11 days, from 1-11 August, finishing with the women’s marathon on the final day of the Games.