Mixed relay cross-country race proposed for 2024 Olympics

If the proposal is accepted, it will be the first time in 100 years that cross-country racing appears at the Olympics. John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

A mixed relay cross-country race has been proposed for inclusion at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Each team would consist of two men and two women, with each member running two legs of the 2.5 kilometre course, under the proposal announced by World Athletics on Thursday.

World Athletics said it would meet with the Paris 2024 organising committee to work out details of the proposal, which would bring cross-country racing back to the Games after a 100-year absence.

"My love for athletics began with cross country," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told a news conference after a meeting in Monaco.

"It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century, and for a new generation of runners to fall in love with the glorious challenge of running off-piste."

World Athletics announced on Tuesday that Olympic qualification for the marathon and road race walk events can restart from Sept. 1, three months earlier than previously decided.

However, qualifying for all other track and field events at next year's Tokyo Games would remain suspended until Nov. 30 as originally planned, it said in a statement.

Qualification was put on hold in early April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic which has caused the Games to be postponed for one year until July-August next year.