Weightlifting will have 10 weight categories at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved changes to boxing and weightlifting weight categories for Paris 2024, with the qualification system for the Games having been approved.

The IOC announced in December that both troubled sports would see reductions in their athlete quotas for the Games.

Weightlifting’s quota place was reduced from 260 at the Rio 2016 Olympics to 196 at Tokyo 2020, with Paris 2024 seeing a further cut to 120.

Both genders will have five weight categories at the Games, with four having been removed by the IOC.

Women’s 49 kilogram, 59kg, 71kg, 81kg and over 81kg events will be contested at the Games, as well as the men’s 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg and over 102kg competitions.

The IOC has said boxing will reach full gender equality for the first time at the Olympic Games in terms of athlete participation, with 124 men and 124 women due to compete in the sport.

Seven men’s weight categories will be contested at the Games, with the 51kg, 57kg, 63.5kg, 71kg, 80kg, 92kg, and over 92kg divisions having been confirmed.

There will be an increase to six women’s weight divisions at the Games, with boxers competing in the 50kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 66kg and 75kg events.

It marks a significant change from the Rio 2016 Olympics when there were 10 men’s and three women’s weight divisions, before eight men’s and five women’s events featured at Tokyo 2020.

The European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) President Franco Falcinelli had criticised the changes when they were proposed.

He argued that the changes contradicted heath precautions due to the category limits being too wide, while he claimed men's boxing was being marginalised.

The IOC Executive Board has also accepted the shooting competition formats for the Games.

A decision had initially been delayed in December due to a disagreement between the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and its Athletes Commission.

The ISSF wanted to add semi-finals to each of its events, which would lead to only the semi-finals and finals being broadcast.

Six women's boxing weight divisions will be contested at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
Six women's boxing weight divisions will be contested at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

The Athletes Commission had opposed the move, as it would reduce the number of athletes and countries represented in the television coverage due to qualification not being shown.

The IOC Executive Board has approved the qualification system for all 32 sports at the Games, which will reportedly be published over the next week.

The IOC says Paris 2024 will be the first fully gender-balanced Games, with exactly 50 per cent male and female participation.

Paris 2024 will also mark the growth in mixed events on the programme, compared to Tokyo 2020, from 18 to 20.

The IOC has recommended International Federations should address the minimum age criteria in their sports and make the appropriate adjustments to their regulations, if required.

The IOC said in February talks were underway over age limits, following the controversy surrounding 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, following her positive drug test.

Principles for the Los Angeles 2028 sport programme were also approved, which the IOC says will be used to lead the analysis and initial evaluation of potential Organising Committee-proposed sports for the sports programme.

Cost and complexity has been included among the six key themes, which would see any new sports, disciplines and events helping to achieve a "neutral result of programme economics" and ensuring the overall athlete quota of 10,500 is maintained.

Engaging the best athletes and emerging generations, enhancing physical and mental protection of athletes, and popularity in the host country are also included in the criteria.

Enhancing universality, gender equality and relevance to youth has also been highlighted, as well as integrity and fairness, and environmental sustainability.