The return of cross country to the Olympic Games, 100 years after its last appearance, could soon become a reality, after the World Athletics Council approved a format for the inclusion of the event in Paris 2024.
Precisely in the French capital, in Paris 1924, the cross country of an Olympic Games was run for the last time, making the WA proposal powerful and striking enough to be approved by both the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee and the Executive Committee and the Session of the International Olympic Committee, which are the entities that must give their approval to the new events, disciplines and sports of the Olympic program.
The format approved by WA foresees to dispute the cross country as a mixed relay test, made up of two men and two women, representing 15 countries, so that the test will award a single gold medal. Each athlete will run two 2.5 km legs, alternating male and female.
A representation of World Athletics will shortly meet with the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee to refine details of the proposal.
The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, declared himself delighted with the decision, and recalled that his beginnings as an athlete were precisely in cross country, at the Hallamshire Harriers club, whose president was Joe Williams, a man who had run the last time that the event was part of the Olympic Games in Paris.