'Paradise To Paris' The Goal At The World Athletics Relays

‘Paradise to Paris’ the goal at the World Athletics Relays

Sprinters descend on The Bahamas for two days of competition where Olympic qualification is at stake

More than 800 athletes from 52 nations have descended on Nassau in The Bahamas for this weekend’s World Athletics Relays with Olympic selection at stake. “From paradise to Paris,” the organisers have dubbed it.

Paradise to Paris

‘PARADISE TO PARIS’ THE GOAL AT THE WORLD ATHLETICS RELAYS

Speaking at the pre-event press conference and in temperatures close to 30C, World Athletics president Seb Coe says the concept of the event was discussed at his first council meeting with the global governing body in 2003. It took, he says, more than a decade to get the first event over the line in 2014.

Nassau held the first three editions from 2014-2017 before it moved to Japan and Poland followed by a return to Nassau this weekend. The Bahamas capital makes no secret of the fact it would like to be the permanent home of the meeting too.

From an early season fun event in the sunshine, it has grown into something with more purpose given the Paris 2024 selection factor.

“This is Olympic year and we’ve injected some jeopardy as there is Olympic selection at stake,” says Coe. “Where the teams finish will determine the lane draws in Paris, too, so there is a lot to play for here.”

Coe of course has run a few relays in his time, too. He competed in a number of 4x400m races during his career and was part of a world record-breaking 4x800m quartet with Steve Cram, Peter Elliott and Garry Cook in 1982.

World Relays (Dan Vernon)

At this 2024 event Noah Lyles and Gabby Thomas lead the United States’ 4x100m teams as they aim to defend their men’s and women’s global relay titles from last year.

Femke Bol will form part of the Netherlands’ 4x400m women’s quartet hoping to retain their global title from Budapest.

Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs, who featured on Italy’s winning teams at the Tokyo Olympics and at the 2021 World Relays, is also entered for the 4x100m and was spoke at the pre-event press conference about his hopes for the season along with Lyles and others.

UK Athletics has brought a big squad to The Bahamas and they say their goal at the event is to qualify all relay teams for the Paris Olympics. This follows the World Championships in Budapest where Britain won medals in four out of five relays.

GB team

Women’s 4x100m: Kristal Ama-Awuah, Alyson Bell, Amy Hunt, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Asha Philip, Aleeya Sibbons, Annie Tagoe, Bianca Williams.

Men’s 4x100m: Eugene Amo-Dadzie, Jona Efoloko, Romell Glave, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Reece Prescod, Chijindu Ujah.

Women’s 4x400m: Hannah Kelly, Victoria Ohuruogu, Emily Newnham, Lina Nielsen, Laviai Nielsen, Ama Pipi, Nicole Yeargin, Jodie Williams.

Men’s 4x400m: Joe Brier, Lewis Davey, Charlie Dobson, Toby Harries, Alex Haydock-Wilson, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Lee Thompson, Brodie Young.

Mixed 4x400m: Athletes selected from 4x400m squads.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Mark Shearman)

BBC coverage for UK viewers

Saturday May 4-5
23:55-03:30 – live coverage on BBC Red Button, Sport website and app (repeat on May 5, 08:10-11:45)
00:05 – 4x400m mixed – heats
00:50: – women’s 4x100m – heats
01:25-men’s 4x100m – heats
02:05-women’s 4x400m – heats
02:49-men’s 4x400m – heats

Sunday May 5-6
23:55-03:30 – live coverage on BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and app (repeat on May 6, 13:00-16:35)
00:05-02:04 – repechages for all events
02:40 – mixed 4x400m– final
02:50 – women’s 4x100m – final
03:00 – men’s 4x100m – final
03:10 – women’s 4x400m – final
03:20 – men’s 4x400m – final

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