10 reasons to be excited for 2024 in athletics

The Paris Olympic games are slated for August 1-11.

In Summary
  • For the first time since 2017, the World Relays will be held in the Bahamian capital.
  • Rivalries between the sport’s biggest stars always provide a gripping narrative for any season.
Kevin Kiptum celebrates after winning London
Kevin Kiptum celebrates after winning London

There are many things to look forward to in the sport of athletics this year.

There’ll be six global championships, with ever-expanding one-day meeting circuits spread throughout the year.

Rivalries will be renewed, and record-breakers will continue to push boundaries in their respective disciplines.

Here are just 10 of the many reasons to be excited by what’s to come over the next 12 months.

1. Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Athletics is the No.1 sport in what will be the biggest event on the planet this year. 100 years after Paris last hosted the Games, the Olympics will return to the French capital where 2000 athletes from about 200 countries will compete for medals in 48 disciplines from August 1-11. Expect duels, drama and record-breaking performances as athletes compete for the highest honour in the sporting world.

2. Indoor Championships Glasgow 24

The first global track and field championships of the year will start in just two months as Glasgow hosts the World Indoor Championships on  March 1-3. In Belgrade two years ago, pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis and triple jumper Yulimar Rojas set world records to claim gold; they’ll be looking to add to their medal – and record – tally in Glasgow, as will a host of other top track and field stars.

3. World Athletics relays Bahamas 24

For the first time since 2017, the World Relays will be held in the Bahamian capital as the global event returns to the venue of the first three editions. From May 4-5, athletes will be vying to secure their place in the 4x100m, 4x400m and mixed 4x400m for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Expectations of a nation rest on their shoulders – and their baton exchanges.

4. Cross country championships Belgrade 24

Just two years after the Serbian capital hosted the World Indoor Championships, Serbia will this year play host to the world’s best cross-country runners. Recent editions of the event, in both Aarhus and Bathurst, have put athletes to the test on grueling courses, so expect more of the same on March 30.

5. U20 championships Lima 24

After the latest successful edition of the World U20 Championships in Cali two years ago, the global event will return to South America as Lima becomes the first city in Peru to host a World Athletics Series event. The championships will take place from August 27-31 and will showcase the world’s most promising up-and-coming stars.

6. Race Walking team championships Antalya 24

Is there room on the calendar for one more global event? Go on, then. For the first time in the history of these championships – including all previous iterations – Turkiye will play host to the World Race Walking Team Championships on April 21. The first 22 teams here will automatically qualify for the marathon race walk mixed relay – the newest Olympic discipline – at the Paris Games.

7. One-day meeting circuits

While championship action is great, the likes of the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics Continental Tour are where athletes can be seen in action week in, week out throughout the peak of the outdoor track and field season. Before that, there’s also the World Indoor Tour, while other series such as the Cross Country Tour, Combined Events Tour, Race Walking Tour and Label road races will provide competition opportunities throughout the year.

8. Record breakers

Athletes continued to push boundaries throughout the past 12 months on the track, field and roads. Expect more of the same this year as the likes of Faith Kipyegon, Mondo Duplantis, Kelvin Kiptum, Yulimar Rojas and Ryan Crouser look to run, jump and throw better than they ever have done before.

9. Big clashes

Rivalries between the sport’s biggest stars always provide a gripping narrative for any season. For 2024, expect some mouth-watering clashes to come from the likes of Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Femke Bol in the 400m hurdles, Kelvin Kiptum and Eliud Kipchoge in the marathon, Gudaf Tsegay and Sifan Hassan in the 10,000m or Daniel Stahl and Kristjan Ceh in the discus to name but a few.

10. New stars

Every year a new generation of talent emerges. Some of those will be athletes who started to make a bit of a breakthrough towards the end of last year, while others may be athletes who fans have barely heard of. Either way, keep your eyes peeled as the season unfolds to witness the future stars of the sport mixing it with the world’s best athletes.