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Marathon Race Walk Mixed Relay to Debut at Paris Olympics

FILE - This handout illustration released on Dec. 15, 2021 by Paris 2024 Olympic Committee shows Paris Olympics opening ceremony July 26, 2024 which will take part on the River Seine.

World Athletics on Saturday released details of a new event, the marathon race walk mixed relay, to be staged at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

It takes the place of the men's 50km race walk, which first appeared at the 1932 Olympics, but which has been scrapped in the pursuit of gender equality.

The new mixed relay will feature 25 teams, each comprising one male and one female athlete, who will alternate to complete the marathon distance (42.195km) in four legs.

"This format is designed to be innovative, dynamic and unpredictable," said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon.

"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 program for the first time," he added.

The relay will be held on the same course as the individual 20km race walking events, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris.

The team qualification "pathway" will be published shortly, World Athletics said.

The 48-event athletics program at Paris 2024 is now perfectly balanced with 23 for both men and women with two mixed events, the 4x400m and walk marathon relay.

Next year's Games also include breakdancing for the first time on the Olympic program.