2024 Paris Olympics dates, schedule information, athletes to watch

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In 2024, Paris will become the second city to host the Olympics for a third time after London. The Games will mark the 100th anniversary of the last time that Paris hosted, back in 1924.

The framework for the 2024 Games has already been set, from venues to the sports on the program to competition schedules and how athletes and teams qualify. Let’s go through what the Paris Olympics will look like.

What are the 2024 Olympic dates?

The 2024 Paris Olympics open with non-medal competition on July 24, 2024. The Opening Ceremony is July 26. The first medals are awarded July 27 (likely in shooting). The final medals will be decided on Aug. 11 (likely women’s basketball), the day of the Closing Ceremony. Paris is six hours ahead of New York City, so the primetime events will take place in the afternoon in the U.S.

What will the 2024 Olympic Opening Ceremony look like?

The Paris 2024 Opening Ceremony will be unlike any predecessor. Traditionally, the Opening Ceremony is inside a stadium. Paris organizers moved the ceremony outside — along the Seine River with boats carrying athletes along famous landmarks, climaxing with the Eiffel Tower. The plan calls for 160 boats to traverse nearly four miles in front of an estimated half million spectators (mostly in free-to-watch areas), about 10 times the normal Opening Ceremony crowd in a stadium.

What are the 2024 Olympic venues?

Some of Paris’ most iconic locations will host Olympic competition. Roland Garros, the annual site of tennis’ French Open, will host tennis and boxing. Beach volleyball will be in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower at Champ de Mars. The Palace of Versailles will host equestrian and modern pentathlon. Stade de France, which memorably hosted the 1998 men’s soccer World Cup final won by France, will be the home of track and field. Surfing will be in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

What new sports are in the 2024 Olympics?

Breaking — don’t call it break dancing — is the lone sport on the 2024 program that will make its Olympic debut. Other sports that debuted in Tokyo return for Paris — skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. Baseball and softball, which returned for the Tokyo Games after a 13-year break, were not put on the Paris 2024 program.

Who are the athletes to watch ahead of the 2024 Olympics?

With two years to go, the biggest stars leading into the 2024 Paris Games have plenty of time to emerge. So far in 2022, swimmer Katie Ledecky won another four gold medals at the world swimming championships. Caeleb Dressel, who earned five golds in Tokyo, won another two at the world championships before withdrawing on unspecified medical grounds.

Sprinter Sydney McLaughlin broke her 400m hurdles world record two more times this summer. She may add a second individual event — the 400m without hurdles — or switch events entirely. The U.S. won a record 33 medals at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, with more Tokyo gold medalists adding world titles in the women’s 800m (Athing Mu) and pole vault (Katie Nageotte) and men’s shot put (Ryan Crouser).

In gymnastics, the national championships in August and world championships this fall will provide a better picture. Suni Lee, the Tokyo all-around champion, said she plans to return to elite, Olympic-level competition, but she’s taking a break this summer. Simone Biles has not said if or when she will return to gymnastics competition.

In team sports, the U.S. already qualified for Tokyo in men’s and women’s soccer. The U.S. women will be without the retired Carli Lloyd, but Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are still part of the national team, which last won gold in 2012. Global stars Stephen Curry (basketball) and Kylian Mbappé (soccer) could make their Olympic debuts in Paris.

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Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

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Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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