Paris 2024: The quest for Olympic qualification begins

The Olympic Games Paris 2024 may be two years away but many of the world’s best athletes are beginning their campaigns to qualify for the upcoming sporting showpiece. Read on to find out the state of play and what’s coming up over the next year on the pathway to Paris 2024. 

By Sean McAlister
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

From Friday 26 July until Sunday 11 August 2024 the world will gather once again for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Over 10,000 athletes will descend on host city Paris for a spectacle of sport unlike any other seen before.

However, before getting the chance to compete, athletes will need to qualify for the Games - no easy task in itself.

Tens of thousands of them will attempt to qualify from 32 sports for the 329 events that will be contested at Paris 2024, with a total of 206 NOCs competing in addition to the Refugee Olympic Team. These Olympic Qualifiers are driven by the ambition of supporting, celebrating and elevating athletes on their road to the Olympic Games.

The Olympic Qualifiers season is made up of more than 3,000 competitions across the individual sports that give athletes the opportunity to earn their spot at the Olympic Games. For the first time in history, many of these events are identifiable by the Paris 2024 Qualifier label.

This year marks the beginning of the qualifying period for many sports, with some NOCs having already booked their quotas for the Games.

Find out everything you need to know about the state of play and what to look forward to below.

Who has already qualified?

On 26 June, the triathlon mixed relay allocated the first quota spots in any sport for Paris 2024. Great Britain were the beneficiaries by virtue of their second-place finish at the Mixed Relay World Championship in Montreal Canada.

While France ran out winners on the day, they have already secured a spot at the Games as the host nation of Paris 2024. That left Britain - anchored home Olympic individual silver medallist and mixed relay gold medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown - to book a quota for their National Olympic Committee for Paris 2024.

In the men’s football competition, both the USA and Dominican Republic have already secured their tickets to Paris after both reached the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship final. It took a comeback of epic proportions for Dominican Republic to qualify, as they came from behind to beat Guatemala on penalties in their semi-final match on 2 July.

It represents the first time ever that Dominican Republic have qualified for the Olympic football tournament and the first time a Caribbean nation will take part since Cuba in 1980.

The USA, who hadn’t qualified for an Olympic men’s football tournament in 16 years, ran out 3-0 winners against Honduras in their semi-final. With both teams qualified for Paris 2024, a jubilant USA went on to win the final 6-0.

READ MORE: USA, Dominican Republic book Paris 2024 Olympic berths after reaching CONCACAF Under-20 Championship final

The USA women's football team also qualified by winning the CONCACAF Women's championship, beating Canada 1-0. Canada will play a playoff against Jamaica, who finished third, in September 2023, to determine the 2nd team to qualify for Paris 2024.

READ MORE: Alex Morgan on target as USA edge Canada in CONCACAF W Championship final to qualify for Paris 2024

In the CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America (8-30 July), Brazil and Colombia have reached the final and qualified for Paris. A goal by Linda Caicedo for Colombia secured victory against Argentina in the first semi-final while la Seleçao beat Paraguay 2-0 in the second semi-final.

READ MORE: Copa America Femenina 2022: Colombia reach final to secure ticket to Paris 2024

The stars are in the starting blocks

The world’s biggest sports stars in the world have already started thinking about Paris. Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, the Jamaican double Olympic 100m champion and five-time world champion told Olympics.com at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene that "Paris 2024 is something which is definitely in my head and in my heart. I am working towards that. (...) We are not limited, there is so much more we can accomplish if we work towards that, and we have time. A lot of people think that every dream we have should be accomplished in our 20s but you still can achieve them in your 30s."

American skateboarder Nyjah Huston also spoke about his ambitions competing in the qualification event in Rome. "I would love to make it to Paris. It's definitely a goal of mine. I don't think it's something that I'm going to try to take as seriously as I was for Tokyo, because I feel like the more pressure I put on myself sometimes, the harder it is to go out there and just skate natural and skate like I normally do. (...) I'm just trying to have more fun with it and just not put so much pressure on myself."

And the dream may even be bigger for French basketball player Rudy Gobert, who has the chance compete in the Games in his country. "I am very excited, it's a dream. When you're a kid, you dream about doing the Olympics, but being able to do the Olympics in your hometown, in your home country, that doesn't happen often. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We've been thinking about it, we want to make sure we are the best team we can be, to represent well the country. It has such an impact on people. It's huge, we want it to be positive for sport in our country and, of course, in the world."

READ MORE: NBA star Rudy Gobert ready for new adventure with Minnesota Timberwolves: “Change is exciting”

"I am very excited, it's a dream. When you're a kid, you dream about doing the Olympics, but being able to do the Olympics in your hometown, in your home country, that doesn't happen often."

Rudy Gobert

What qualifiers are coming up in 2022?

August sees the first spots for Equestrian dressage handed out, with eight teams at the worlds in Denmark (excluding host nation France) earning quotas for their NOCs between 6 and 10 August.

From 10-14 August, five equestrian jumping quotas can also be won at the world championships, with the top five teams all qualifying a place for Paris.

The European Championships for shooting round out the qualifier action for August, with eight spots available - two for each of men’s and women’s trap, and two for each of men’s and women’s skeet.

Shooting continues to offer Paris 2024 quotas in September as the European Championships come to their conclusion. Eight tickets are available, with two each for men’s and women’s 50m rifle 3 positions, two for men’s rapid fire pistol and two for women’s 25m pistol.

From 14-18 September, the top seven teams at the world championships will earn spots for their NOCs in equestrian eventing, while on the same dates the top three individual rhythmic gymnasts and top three teams will earn NOC spots at the World Championships.

The month ends with opportunities for two surfers at the ISA World Surfing Games (17-24 September), the winners of the FIBA women’s World Cup (22 September - 1 October) and 16 shooters at the shotgun worlds (four each for men’s and women’s trap, and four each for men’s and women’s skeet).

Equestrian jumping is once again in the spotlight in October, as the top-ranked team from the final 2022 rankings earns their NOC a quota place (2 October). The shooting world championships then offer a massive 32 quotas for Paris 2024 from 12-25 October.

Put a note in your diary for the artistic gymnastics world championships, which begin on 29 October and end on 6 November. The three highest-ranked teams for both the men’s and women’s competitions will earn their NOCs a ticket to the Games.

November’s action sees one spot handed out in women’s handball, as the winner of the European Championship (4-20 November) advance to Paris 2024.

The month also includes more shooting action with 12 spots available at the XIII CAT Championship in Lima, Peru between 4 and 13 November.

Of course, the action doesn’t stop there, with 2023 and 2024 continuing apace with Olympic qualifier action that will take us all the way up to the Games. Keep reading Olympics.com for all the upcoming news on the pathway to qualification for Paris 2024.

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