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Olympic year kicks off with key qualifiers

January 2024 begins with a flurry of sporting activity in the run-up to Paris 2024, reports insidethegames.biz.

The 33rd Olympic Games of the modern era, with more than 10,000 athletes, will begin in the Paris region on July 26.

The start of the Olympic year is marked by a series of qualifying tournaments for the world’s premier sporting event, which will be held in the French capital for the third time.

Handball, men’s and women’s hockey at two different venues, water polo and laser radial sailing all will hold in January, there will be plenty of places to go.

In January, points will continue to be awarded in the rankings-based qualifying processes for sports such as tennis, table tennis, volleyball (for those who have not yet qualified), mountain biking, triathlon, archery, golf, skateboarding, judo, track cycling, BMX racing, weightlifting, shooting, beach volleyball, fencing, badminton, modern pentathlon, and the trampoline gymnastics World Cup.

As for the direct competition for a place in Paris, it has already begun in Argentina, in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. From January 3 to 10, the direct quotas for the ILCA 6 Women’s World Sailing 2024 will be contested. Seven non-nominal places will be awarded at this event, which are not available to countries that have already secured a ticket to Paris 2024 at the 2023 World Championships.

For the first time in 64 years, Venezuela will host the new edition of the Olympic Football Pre-Qualifiers. The 10 teams from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) will compete for two places in Paris.

The South American Olympic qualifiers will be held in Caracas, Valencia and Barquisimeto from January 20 to February 11. The qualifiers will feature U-23 players, while three senior players will be eligible to join the squad heading to Paris.

The teams that have already qualified are Europe’s France (organizer), Spain, Israel, and Ukraine (UEFA), Africa’s Egypt, Mali, and Morocco (CAF), the United States and the Dominican Republic from North America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF), Oceanic New Zealand (OFC), while three from Asia (AFC) and the aforementioned two from South America are yet to qualify. There will also be a play-off between the fourth-placed Asian team and Guinea of Africa.

In athletics, athletes have been able to achieve the required Olympic marks in all events since July 1 last year. It’s important to remember that the maximum number of athletes per country and per event is three, and these places are nominal unless a country has more than three minimums in an event. In that case, they can select three representatives from the minimum athletes and nominate a reserve.

Results in these events will already count for the Olympic rankings. The deadline is June 30, one month after the start of the Olympic athletics events. For the marathon, the deadline is two months earlier. On May 30, the 64 best marks will be allocated places, with a maximum of three athletes per country.

In swimming, the required qualifying times are counting from March 1 of the previous year. The maximum number of swimmers per country and per event is two, and these places are nominal, unless a country has more than two A minimum time in an event.

In this case, they can choose two representatives from the swimmers with the minimum times. In addition, each country will be allowed to enter a maximum of 26 male and 26 female swimmers in Paris 2024, and a swimmer who has achieved a qualifying time in one event will be allowed to compete in any other event in which his or her country has not achieved a qualifying time.

The end of the month sees another round of sailing qualifiers. From January 24 to 31, the ILCA 7 2024 Men’s World Sailing Championship will be held in Adelaide, Australia, with direct quotas, and from January 26 to February 3, the iQFOiL 2024 World Sailing Championship will be held in Lanzarote (Canary Islands, Spain) with direct quotas.

The IOC has decided to give athletes from Russia and Belarus the opportunity to achieve minimum scores to qualify for the Olympic Games (as neutrals, as their federations remain suspended).

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