Over 1,000 amateur runners qualify for Paris 2024 marathon by ‘beating’ Kipchoge

More than 1,000 amateur runners have earned the chance to participate in an Olympic-related marathon in 2024, as they on Sunday finished a challenge to “defeat” two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge in a special race in the heart of the French capital.

The five-kilometer race, which was held on the iconic Champs-Elysees, was an event to celebrate the 1,000 days countdown of the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games.

More than 3,600 runners came to race with the best-ever marathon athlete as the 36-year-old Kenyan was placed in the last to start. All those he failed to catch over the five-kilometer distance won access to the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“It’s the first time that I’m happy to have lost! My defeat is a victory for several hundred people to whom I will meet in 2024 here in Paris,” Kipchoge said.

Paris 2024 has launched an initiative in Olympic history as a marathon race will be open to the public in the Olympic Games on the same day and on the same route with the official Olympic marathon event.

“We want the Games to be more popular ever. So that’s why we organized today to celebrate the 1,000 days to go,” said Paris 2024 organizing committee president Tony Estanguet. “For the first time, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games and we will continue to have opportunities for everyone to be part of the Games.”

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