Olympics-French leg of 2024 torch relay to start in Marseille


FILE PHOTO: A boat sails at the site of the future Olympic Sailing venue (Voile Olympique) at the "Marina Olympique" nautical base in Marseille, France, after the decision for Paris to host of the 2024 Summer Olympics Games, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PARIS (Reuters) -The French leg of the Olympic torch relay for the Paris 2024 Summer Games will start from the port city of Marseille organisers said on Friday.

The flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece, as usual, before being taken to Marseille, where the sailing competitions of the Olympics will take place, on a three-masted ship from Athens in the spring of 2024.

"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," Paris 2024 said in a statement.

"The flame will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, where the Torch Relay will begin, before travelling across the country over a period of several weeks and finishing its journey in Paris.

"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."

Marseille was founded by the Greek settlers of Phocaea around 600 BC.

The relay will end in Paris on July 14, Paris first deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told reporters.

The Olympics will be held from July 26-Aug. 11.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot and Noemie Olive; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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