By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) -The Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremony will start at 7.30 p.m. local time, organisers said on Friday as they gear up for the final straight before the Games.

“We chose that time to make the most of the light,” Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet told a press conference following the seventh and final Coordination Commission with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The opening ceremony, a six-kilometre (3.7-mile) parade along the River Seine attended by more than 300,000, will take place on July 26, when the sun sets at 9.35 p.m. local time.

IOC Coordination Commission chairman Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant said he was confident Paris 2024 would be in position to deliver excellent Games.

“The International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission leaves Paris full of confidence that excellence is within reach,” Beckers-Vieujant said.

“We don’t see any challenge that could be an obstacle to the realisation of the extraordinary vision that all the teams have had seven years ago (when Paris where awarded the 2024 Olympics).”

“The Games are just around the corner,” he added, referring to the Olympic flame arriving from Greece in Marseille, southern France, in exactly two months.

Paris 2024 has already unveiled its official posters and medals. A new arena, in the north of central Paris has been inaugurated and works have started to build some temporary competition sites.

“This raises questions among the population, obviously. As the Games approach, there is always a dip in the support of the Olympics, but this changes after the event,” Beckers-Vieujant said.

“I find it interesting that all stakeholders have opened the dialogue with the local population so that solutions can be found. Paris is not different than other cities who previously held the Games.”

Estanguet was optimistic.

“Everything is going smoothly. We are confident and enthusiastic. We also know, however, that the final straight is key. We’ll stay focused and ambitious,” he said.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Potter)

Brought to you by