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2024 Olympic torch relay to start in Marseille

The torch relay for the Paris Olympics will start in the southern port of Marseille in April 2024, organisers announced on Friday.

The torch will arrive in Marseille from Greece, the spiritual home of the Olympics, on a three-masted ship.

It will set the tone for a Games whose opening ceremony will be held on the Seine in Paris.

“In the spring of 2024, Marseille will have the honour and good fortune to be the first city to welcome the Olympic flame on French soil,” organisers Paris 2024 said in a statement.

“The Belem, a majestic three-masted ship, will carry the flame across the Mediterranean Sea from Athens to Marseille, two cities closely connected by a shared history.”

The ancient Greek colony of Massalia was founded on the French Mediterranean coast in 600 BC. The settlement would become modern-day Marseille.

Chief organiser Tony Estanguet said Marseille “was a natural and clear choice” to host the arrival of the torch.

Marseille will host sailing events for the Games.

The Paris OIympics take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

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