World Relays Day 1

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team had a successful first evening session at the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24, qualifying four out of five teams for Paris. That the event was a qualifier for the Olympics changed the dynamics of the event.  Normally, day 1 is just about qualifying for the day 2 finals. Still, this year, securing the Paris ticket seemed more important than winning a World Relays title – especially as the Paris qualification could be secured by coming first or second in a day 1 prelim.  Remembering that in Budapest, team GB won 4 relay medals, and a fourth-place finish confirms the importance of relays to attaining the GB medal target.

The results were:

Women 4 by 100 first in prelim in 42:33

Men’s 4 by 100 second in prelim in 38.36 

Men’s 4 by 400 second in prelim in 3:02.10 

Women’s 4 by 400 second in prelim in 3:24.89 

Mixed 4 by 400 third in prelim in 3:13.52

Of course, it is early season, and not all the best athletes are in the Bahamas, but the fact that only two of the GB relay teams were among the three fastest in their category indicates that there is a lot of work to be done to match last year’s medal performance.

British Women’s 4x100m relay, photo by World Athletics

Amy Hunt said of the women’s sprint team’s performance: “That was incredible it was my first time with these three girls, and they’ve been so absolutely amazing in trusting me and mentoring me and making sure I am on it! So, to get that baton and cross the line with the biggest smile on my face was one of the most fun races I have ever done… and this crowd was insane! I felt like it really pushed me all the way and yeah, ten out of ten! We got here, did our job, and executed, so we’re super happy”.

British Sprint Relay teams in WR Bahamas 2024, photo by World Athletics

Eugene Amo-Dadzie, the fastest accountant in the world (as he calls himself), said: “For years I was sat on my sofa watching GB teams smash it in the relay, it was always one of those things I would think ‘oh wow how amazing that would be’ and now I am in the situation where I have helped GB get to that stage. God willing, I stay healthy, and I can be on that team in Paris, it is a very surreal feeling right now. This is a new lineup regarding the four who ran together, so I am very proud”.

Speaking after about her whirlwind few months, which also saw her win a World Indoor medal in March, Hannah Kelly was delighted to have played her part in qualifying for the women’s 4 x 400 team: “It’s amazing! This time last year I was injured, I pulled my hamstring but what a difference a year can make! I’ve got a World medal, I’m at my second championship, and we have just made a final and qualified for the Olympics! It’s a really good start to the season”.

British Women’s 4x400m relays, photo by World Athletics

Lewis Davey said of his part in the men’s 4 by 400 race: “I was trying to close the gap on first, and then I felt the guys appear right on my shoulder. One might have passed me on the inside, and I felt another one come round me on the top end, and I got boxed in a little bit.

“I tried to kick but was too close to the guy in front. I had planned to kick at about 140m to go, but I had to leave it until 80m to go. I had to do it then and found a gap. I was always going to have that strong finish”.

The teams all go again on day 2.