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  • Top Story Replay: Weightlifting, Boxing Hit Hardest for Paris 2024


    IOC president Thomas Bach addresses the media in a virtual press conference.
    (ATR) Weightlifting and boxing, two sports whose international federations are currently on the outs with the IOC, take the hardest hits in the Paris 2024 sports program.

    IOC President Thomas Bach announced on Monday the program and athlete quotas. Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking, the additional sports proposed by the Paris organizers, were confirmed as additional sports.

    Breaking and sport climbing both appeared as medal events at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, while skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will make their debut on the Olympic program in Tokyo next year.

    The four sports in Paris will include a total of 248 athletes, less than half the number who will participate in the five additional sports that are on the Tokyo program. The Tokyo figure is much larger due to the inclusion of the team sports of baseball and women’s softball.

    “With this program, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world," Bach said in announcing the decisions.

    There will be no new additional medal events for Paris and in fact, there will be a decrease in medal events from 339 in Tokyo to 329 in Paris. The decision was taken to limit the number of athletes participating to 10,500, about 600 less than in Tokyo. For the first time, gender equality will be reached, in part due to the increase in mixed gender events from 18 in Tokyo to 22 in Paris.

    IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell
    IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell detailed the cuts to the weightlifting and boxing programs.

    The highest quota reduction was in weightlifting, which lost four events, two for each gender. The sport now has five events per gender, with a quota of 120 athletes, compared to 196 in Tokyo (and prior to that, 260 at Rio 2016). The specific weight classes will be finalized by the International Weightlifting Federation in the fourth quarter of 2021.

    "The Olympic Program Commission received very clear advice from the IOC Executive Board to take into account the strong ongoing concerns regarding both governance and anti-doping in the sport," McConnell said.

    "To be clear this does not confirm the place of weightlifting in the program in Paris and the IOC Executive Board continues to reserve the right to further review the place of weightlifting in Paris as things move forward," McConnell added.

    The second highest reduction was made in boxing. There will be 34 fewer athletes in Paris than in Tokyo, 252 rather than 286. The sport will reach full gender equality in athlete participation for the first time at Paris 2024. The program will feature seven men’s and six women’s events, with one men’s event being shifted to the women. The specific weight classes will be finalized by the IOC EB in the fourth quarter of 2021.

    The IOC suspended the International Boxing Association (AIBA) last year for a litany of issues. The IOC took over both Olympic qualification and the organization of the Tokyo 2020 tournament.

    AIBA is holding its presidential election on December 12.

    Besides the change in boxing, there were seven other events in four sports that were swapped out.

    A new mixed-gender event in athletics will replace the men’s 50km race walk.

    Two extreme canoe slalom events to replace 2 canoe sprint events.

    Three new mixed events in sailing will replace two men’s and one women’s event and a new skeet mixed team event in shooting will replace the trap mixed team event.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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