NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The initial installment of the IAAF World Relays being staged this Saturday and Sunday will include eight former Aggie sprinters among the relay pools representing five nations at a sold out Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
On Team USA are Jessica Beard (4x400), Curtis Mitchell (4x200), Jenaba Tarmoh (4x200) and Ameer Webb (4x200). Simone Facey (4x200) is part of the Jamaican squad, Tabarie Henry (4x200) runs for the U.S. Virgin Islands while Dominique Duncan (4x100, 4x200) represents Nigeria. Demetrius Pinder (4x400) will compete for the host nation in the event the Bahamas claimed gold in during the London Olympics in 2012.
“To have a big event like this in the Bahamas is special,” said Pinder, who ran second leg on the Bahamas national record performance of 2:56.72 when they won the 4x400 relay in London. “It will give us some publicity and help people see the country and hopefully boost our tourism. It’s a blessing to be the country that gets to host an event like this for the first time. I hope the Bahamas put on a show.”
Coverage of the two-day meet is available on www.Universalsports.com, starting at 3:45 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, as well as on NBC Universal Sports at 5:30 p.m. each day.
Events contested will include men’s and women’s 4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 4x800 and 4x1500 relays. More than 500 athletes from 42 nations are expected to compete this weekend with $1.4 million available in prize money. The top eight teams in the 4x100 and 4x400 will also earn a berth into the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Saturday’s action includes prelims in the men’s 4x200 and 4x400 as well as the women’s 4x100 and 4x400. Finals on Saturday include the men’s 4x800 and 4x200 as well as the women’s 4x1500 and 4x100. Sunday will start with prelims in the men’s 4x100 and women’s 4x400 and then include finals in the remaining events.
In the women’s 4x400 the United States will start in lane five of the second heat where the first three teams in each heat automatically qualify to the finals along with the next two fastest times. Joining the U.S. in heat two are Jamaica (lane 3), Great Britain (4), Poland (6), Australia (7) and France (8). Teams in the first heat, in lanes 2-8, are Russia, Italy, Nigeria, Bahamas, Canada, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago.
With two heats of the men’s 4x200, where the top three nations in each heat and the next two fastest times advance to the final, the Americans are stationed in lane 7 of the second heat. Other countries in heat two include Nigeria, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Germany, Barbados, Kenya and Japan. The first heat includes France, U.S. Virgin Islands, Spain, Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Jamaica.
With three heats in the prelims of the men’s 4x400, where the advancement includes the first two nations in each heat plus the next two fastest times, the host Bahamas will run in heat three with Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Poland and Cuba. The United States are in heat two with Canada, Jamaica, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Russia. The first heat includes Brazil, Great Britain, Australia, Venezuela, Kenya and Dominican Republic.
The women’s 4x200 is a final only event held on Sunday with the United States in lane three while Jamaica is in lane five and Nigeria occupies lane two. Other countries in the eight-team final include Trinidad & Tobago, France, Great Britain, Switzerland and Bahamas.
Prelims of the women’s 4x100 have three heats with the top two nations in each heat, plus the next two fastest times making the final. Nigeria runs in the second heat from lane five. The other teams in the same heat include Venezuela, China, Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, Brazil and Canada.