The excitement is starting to mount with exactly one month to go until the first gun goes at the inaugural IAAF World Relays, which will be held in Nassau, The Bahamas, on 24-25 May 2014.
Although most of the expected teams have yet to make their final squad selections, it is already known that the sport’s superpowers with a baton, like Kenya, Jamaica, the USA and many European nations, will be sending their strongest men and women’s teams to contest the five disciplines on the programme of this innovative event.
Into the bargain, the host nation with its own fantastic relay tradition, is out to ensure that some medals remain in The Bahamas.
There are two big incentives for nations to send their best squads to contest the 10 events which will be staged in the newly-built 15,000-seater Thomas A Robinson Stadium, with both men and women competing in the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m.
The top eight teams in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m at the IAAF World Relays will automatically qualify for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
In addition, the top eight teams in each event will be awarded prize money with the gold medallists taking home no less than USD $50,000. In the event that a team breaks a World record in Nassau, an additional bonus of USD $50,000 will also be awarded.
Preliminary entries suggest that more than 700 athletes from 48 IAAF Member Federations will take part in Nassau.
Whetting the appetite for the forthcoming relay extravaganza, 2014 has already seen the US men set a World indoor 4x400m record and a quartet of Kenyan women running a 4x1500m faster than ever before.
Into the bargain, regardless who is in their team, Jamaican sprinters have collectively said that they will be targeting the World record in the men’s 4x200m in Nassau.