KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Olympics in Paris in 2024 will see an equal balance of male and female competitors for the first time in the history of the modern Games.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, confirmed the step up amid a decision to trim the number of competitors at the Games.

The executive board has approved a proposal from the IOC programme commission to cut the overall number to 10,500 including all new sports while also achieving gender equality in Games participation “at event and discipline level where possible.”

These cuts come at a cost.

Bach said: “To achieve these principles the sports federations had proposed 41 additional events. This would have led to the number of medal events increasing to 380 compared with 339 in Tokyo. The IOC board has not accepted any of these 41 events but has decreased medal events from 339 to 329.

“We have also reduced the overall athletes quota to 10,500. This is about 600 less than we expect for Tokyo. That should will lead to a reduction in the number of officials and thus an overall reduction of about 1,000.”

Bach, turning directly to the gender balance issue, added: “We will see 50pc male and female participation compared with 49pc female for Tokyo but with Paris we are taking the last step with 50pc male and 50pc female athletes participating.

“This is the first time in Olympics that we will reach full gender equality.”

The number of mixed gender events will escalate from 18 in Tokyo to 22 in Paris. Athletics, boxing and cycling will reach full gender equality for the first time.

Four new sports have been approved for Paris – breaking, climbing, skateboarding and surfing.