Home » WRE Bahamas 24 preview: scene set for mixed 4x400m showdown | News | Bahamas 24 | World Athletics Relays

WRE Bahamas 24 preview: scene set for mixed 4x400m showdown | News | Bahamas 24 | World Athletics Relays

The composition of the teams may be slightly different, but a USA-Netherlands showdown in the mixed 4x400m – less than a year on from their dramatic duel at the World Championships – could provide one of the highlights of the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24.

On that occasion in Budapest last year, Femke Bol of the Netherlands was locked in battle with USA’s Alexis Holmes on the final leg. In the closing metres, Bol lost her footing and crashed to the ground, while Holmes maintained her momentum to carry USA to victory in a world record of 3:08.80.

Bol and Holmes have both been named in the women’s 4x400m, not the mixed event, for Nassau, so fans may still be treated to a rematch of sorts between the pair. But without world indoor champion Bol’s foot speed in their armoury, the Netherlands may not be quite as formidable in Nassau.

Just one member of the world record-breaking quartet, Matthew Boling, will feature on USA’s team for the World Relays, and he’ll be joined by Olympic 4x400m champion Lynna Irby-Jackson.

The Dominican Republic – winners of the world title in 2022 ahead of the Netherlands and USA – will be bolstered by the presence of world 400m champion Marileidy Paulino, who has already notched up Diamond League victories in Xiamen and Suzhou this year. Alexander Ogando, who was also part of the triumphant 2022 squad, is also on the team for Nassau.

Since winning the Olympic title in 2021, Poland hasn’t quite been able to replicate that form. They placed fourth in the mixed relay at the 2022 World Championships, then eighth at the 2023 edition. World silver medallist Natalia Kaczmarek and 2018 European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic add strength to their squad, but both may also be called up for the women’s 4x400m so may be running on tired legs for the mixed event.

The biggest cheers, though, will be reserved for The Bahamas, who won the inaugural mixed 4x400m when the World Relays was last held in Nassau. Three members of that quartet – including Olympic 400m champions Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo – feature on the host nation’s team for this year’s edition, and they will aim to strike gold on home turf again.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland claimed silver behind the USA at last year’s World Championships, and they’re intent on challenging for another podium place in Nassau after naming some of their best one-lap sprinters for the mixed 4x400m.

Czechia’s mixed relay pool includes the same four athletes that claimed bronze in this event in Budapest last year, so they could well be a danger again.

Jamaica earned world silver in this event at the 2019 World Championships, but haven’t made a global podium since then. They boast strong depth in both the men’s and women’s 400m, so undoubtedly have the potential to be in the hunt in Nassau.

France and Belgium, meanwhile, were just shy of the medals in Budapest, so they’ll head to Nassau with plenty of motivation, as will defending champions Italy.

Other contenders include Bahrain, Botswana and a Canadian squad that features world 800m champion Marco Arop.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics