World Relays overview

Breaking news: USA is the strongest nation at relays. We can also confirm that Pope Francis is a Roman Catholic and that it is raining in England!

USA won four of the five categories in the World Relays 2024 in the Bahamas. The one they failed to win was the men’s 4 by 400 when one of the runners appeared not to know the rules. Having been placed by officials in lane 3 for the changeover, he saw a colleague coming in lane one and moved himself to lane one. He was DQed.

I like the World Relays. I have been twice, once to the Bahamas and once to Tokyo. I would have loved to go this year, but the Bahamas is an expensive place to get to from the UK. This year’s relays doubled up as the principal means of qualifying a relay team for the Paris Olympics. In one sense,

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – MAY 05: 4×400 Metres Relay Men Olympic Qualifying Round 2 at World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24, Bahamas. (Photo by Sergio Mateo / World Athletics)

that made it more important but also diminished the finals as there was far more celebrating by teams securing Olympic qualification done by teams securing a medal in the finals.


And let’s get a bit of controversy out of the way. According to World Athletics, several “Championship records” were set. According to the statistical authorities on Twitter (or X if you must), the World Relays is not a championship and, therefore, cannot set championship records. So there!

The winners were

Men’s 4 X 100 USA 37.40

Women’s 4 by 100 USA 41.85*

Men’s 4 X 400 Botswana 2:59.11

Women’s 4 by 400 USA 3:21.70

Mixed 4 X 400 USA 3:10.73*

*World Athletics thinks that these times were “championship records,” but this column knows better!

A total of 70 teams have qualified for relay events at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Two nations – Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the USA – each qualified a full five teams for Paris, while another six – France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Poland – qualified four each.
A further two Olympic Games places in each discipline will be awarded based on ranking lists during the qualification period (31 December 2022 to 30 June 2024).

Teams qualified for Paris

Women’s 4x100m
Australia, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Great Britain & NI, Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United States

Men’s 4x100m
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain & NI, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, United States

Women’s 4x400m
Belgium, Canada, France, Great Britain & NI, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United States

Men’s 4x400m
Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain & NI, India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United States

Mixed 4x400m
Bahamas, Belgium, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain & NI, Ireland, Jamaica, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States