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Paris 2024: So heiß wie diesmal war die Ticketvergabe noch nie
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Paris 2024: Ticket allocation has never been as hot as this time

In the marathon, the first qualifying period for the Summer Olympics expires in January. The cards were reshuffled at the Dubai Marathon. Will anything change in the current ranking?

Photos: Florian Kurrasch and Kai Heuser

Anyone who reads 2024 and doesn't think about the Olympics is not a real athletics fan. The Summer Olympics in Paris this summer are the highlight for professional athletes - as well as for the audience. The fruits of all the hard work - blood, sweat and tears - will be harvested in the French capital between August 1st and 11th. This of course applies to the athletes.

All we fans can do is hunt for spectator tickets. But who can we cheer for - whether in the stadium or in front of the TV at home? Which German track and field athletes are there? Because we are biased and running is the coolest sport anyway, we especially want to take a look at the running events. Above all: the marathon.

How do you qualify for the Olympic Games in the marathon?

At the Olympic Games, each nation is allowed to field three men and three women in each event. To do this, the athletes must meet certain standards, which specifically means running fast enough. There is an international qualifying time that you have to run within a time window for an officially recognized competition. In the marathon this is 2:08:10 hours for men and 2:26:50 hours for women. There is also the possibility of qualifying via the world rankings if you have not beaten the official time.

You can read here how the world association's ranking works - because it's not just fast times that count, but also where they were run . According to the Olympic Committee, a total of 80 runners are allowed to start the marathon in Paris - half of the places are based on “successful performance in a competition” and the other half of the places are “on the world rankings within the ranking period”.

Sure, maybe: Which Germans are there?

In general, however, the respective country determines which athletes it takes to the games. There is no individual registration. The fastest, i.e. those who have met the Olympic standard in time, will be taken along - but only three are allowed to start in each discipline. In Germany it has probably never been so difficult to get one of these three places. Because the performance density in marathons is currently extremely high.

After her spectacular performance at the Dubai Marathon, Mela Kejeta, the 2021 Olympic sixth-place finisher, moved to first place in the German rankings with a new PB (2:21:47). Behind them are Domenika Mayer (2:23:47) and Laura Hottenrott (2:24:32). But Fabienne Königstein (2:25:48) and Deborah Schöneborn (2:25:52) also undercut the qualification standard, but are “only” in fourth and fifth place in the national rankings.

Deborah Schöneborn wants to take advantage of her chance at the Houston Marathon on January 15th and be among the top 3 Germans again.

Among the men, one is definitely there, you can already say that: Amanal Petros. He ran a German record in Berlin. Hardly anyone will beat his time of 2:04:58. He can now prepare specifically for the Olympic final.

Samuel Fitwi also significantly undercut the official standard with his new best time at the Dubai Marathon (02:06:27). Hardly any other compatriot will be able to challenge Richard Ringer (2:07:04) for the starting place. In addition, no other German runner has undercut the Olympic standard. But several athletes narrowly failed - and theoretically have a chance to try again. There's Filimon Abraham with 2:08:22, Haftom Welday with 2:08:24 and Hendrik Pfeiffer with 2:08:48.

The last chances to qualify

January 30, 2024 marks a first milestone for the Olympic nominations. Because at this point in time, World Athletics is awarding 64 out of a total of 80 starting places. The remaining 16 starting places for men and women will then be awarded at the end of April. The possibilities of achieving the required times are therefore limited. Nevertheless, attacks on the standards can still be expected after January. In the event of a failure, there is still the chance to move up the national list and hope for a nomination. So it remains exciting...

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