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Men and women competing in the same event at the Olympics could soon be a reality

The initiative is reportedly being considered to ramp up interest in athletics.

Olivier Gers on mixed-gender relays:
Olivier Gers on mixed-gender relays: "It's definitely something we have been talking about for quite some time."
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

MIXED-GENDER RELAYS are being considered as an Olympic event to ramp up interest in athletics, a senior member of the sport’s governing body said today.

“As a sport we are looking at different formats,” Olivier Gers, chief executive of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), told AFP.

“It’s definitely something for the Olympics to look at and for the IOC to decide jointly with the IAAF.

“It’s definitely something we have been talking about for quite some time.”

Mixed-sex relays were trialled at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau in April.

A 4x400m event, with two men and two women per team running in no set order, proved a highlight at the championships in the Bahamas, especially as the home team won.

“It was incredible,” said Gers.

“The crowd was incredible, I still have goosebumps thinking about it. These are the kind of things we need to look at.”

Gers was speaking in Qatar ahead of the opening Diamond League event of the season in Doha on Friday.

Gers’ boss at the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, has spoken in the past about track and field changing traditional formats of various events as the sport competes for television audiences.

– © AFP 2017

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