August 12, 2022

New format for track events at the Paris Olympics

The World Athletics Council has also approved entry standards for the upcoming World Championships in Athletics.

The World Athletics Council has approved an innovation in the regular competition format for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The council has introduced a repechage round for all individual track events from 200m to 1500m distance, including hurdles tests.

In the new repechage format, athletes who do not qualify by place in the first round heats will have a second chance to qualify for the semi-finals. They will participate in repechage rounds.

This will replace the old system of athletes progressing through the fastest times (q) in addition to the top positions in the first round (Q) heats of the Olympic Games.

The new formula

Marcell Jacobs is the defending Olympic Games champion in the 100m. (Courtesy – The Bridge)

These events will now consist of four rounds – the first round, the repechage round, the semi-finals and the final. And heat times will vary depending on the specific nature of the event.

The new format means that each athlete competing in the events with a repechage round will have at least two races at the Olympic Games.

As the 100m already has preliminary heats, before the first round the repechage will not be used in this event. Additionally, repechage will not be introduced in distance events as the need for good recovery between rounds makes the format unnecessary.

World Athletics Chairman Sebastian Coe said: “After consulting with our athletes and broadcasters, we believe this is an innovation that will make it easier for the athletes to progress these events and raise the anticipation of the fans and broadcasters. The repechage rounds will give more visibility to our sport during the peak Olympic period and will be carefully timed to ensure that each event on our Olympic program retains its share of stardom. »

The final rules of the format, including the calendar as well as the system of advancement in each event, will be revealed well before the Olympic Games.

Entry standards in Budapest

Jamaica swept the women’s 100m event at the World Championships in Athletics. (Courtesy – The Bridge)

The Council also approved entry standards for the 10,000m, marathon, combined events and race walk. These will apply to the Budapest 23 World Championships in Athletics, which will take place from August 19 to 27 next year.

The entry standards call for providing 50% of the quota in each event. And they were determined by a statistical analysis of performance levels over the past few years. The remaining quota in each event will be qualified either by world ranking, by finishing position in designated competitions, or by wild card.

Entry standards

Men Event (quota) Women
27:10.00 / 27:10 10,000m (27) 30:40.00 / 30:40
2:09:40 Marathon (100) 2:28:00
8460 Decathlon / heptathlon (24) 6480
1:20:10 20km walk (50) 1:29:20
2:29:40 35km walk (50) 2:51:30

Qualification window

10,000m, 20km walk and combined events: January 31, 2022 – July 30, 2023
Marathon and 35km walk: December 1, 2021 – May 30, 2023
All other events: July 31, 2022 – July 30, 2023


It is possible to qualify for the 10,000m through a 10km performance, and for world ranking purposes, the 10km road event is considered equal to the 10,000m.

In addition, the top eight athletes in the cross-country rankings who did not qualify by the entry standards or the World Ranking for the 10,000m will be considered qualified for the 10,000m.


The top five runners-up from Platinum Label marathons held during the qualifying period and the winners of Gold Label marathons held in 2023 are all considered qualified for the marathon.

The detailed qualification system and entry standards for the remaining events are being established. They will follow when approved by the Board.

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