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Previews26 Feb 2024

WIC Glasgow 24 preview: 4x400m


Action from the 4x400m at the 2022 World Indoor Championships (© Getty Images)

Men’s 4x400m

Timetable | 2024 world list | world all-time list

A talented pool of 400m specialists will be aiming to end USA’s eight-year gold medal drought in the men’s 4x400m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.

Between 1993 and 2016, USA won 10 of the 13 gold medals on offer in the men’s 4x400m at the World Indoors. But they were beaten by a record-breaking Polish squad in 2018, and then an injury in the heats at the 2022 edition cost them a place in the final.

It’s no wonder, then, that the sprint powerhouse has assembled a full-strength team of relay runners for Glasgow – including four men who have broken 46 seconds this year – determined to restore some order to proceedings.

Brian Faust and Jacory Patterson, who are entered for the individual 400m, will be at the USA’s disposal, as will Matthew Boling, Christopher Bailey, Paul Dedeweo, Trevor Bassitt and Wil London. If all goes well, they could even get close to the world indoor record of 3:01.51.

That said, relays are hard to predict at the best of times – not least indoors, where there’s more bumping and barging compared to outdoors.

Belgium heads to Glasgow as the defending champions and reigning European indoor champions. While they may not be able to match the USA in pure speed, they have heaps of experience as a squad, which can count for a lot.

Ever since their breakout year in 2021 – when they won European indoor gold and took Olympic silver – the Netherlands has been a force in the 4x400m. They took world indoor bronze in 2022 and followed it with European indoor bronze in 2023. With a strong squad entered for Glasgow, it will be no surprise to see them on the podium again.

The Czech Republic also heads into the championships with a great chance of winning a medal. They set a national outdoor record in Budapest last year, and all four members of that team will be running in Glasgow – including three-time world indoor 400m champion Pavel Maslak. They were fifth at the 2022 World Indoors, but have a much stronger team this time around.

Poland, who won with a world record in 2018, perhaps aren’t as strong as they have been in the past, but then again few would have predicted what they achieved in this event six years ago, so never count them out.

The Nigerian squad has potential to threaten for a medal. Portugal, Slovakia and Kenya are the other teams entered.


Women’s 4x400m

Timetable | 2024 world list | world all-time list

In one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the championships, world champions Netherlands will clash with Olympic champions USA in the women’s 4x400m.

What makes the race all the more fascinating is that USA’s Alexis Holmes and Femke Bol of the Netherlands – who ran shoulder-to-shoulder in the mixed 4x400m at last year’s World Championships in Budapest until Bol crashed to the ground with just metres to go – are both entered for their respective countries, meaning there could be a rematch in store on the final leg.

Add into the equation defending champions Jamaica and host nation Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and this could be one of the races of the championships.

In Bol and training partner Lieke Klaver, the Dutch team boasts the two fastest women in the world this year. Not only does that formidable duo have plenty of experience running together in relays, they are also in the form of their lives individually. Bol recently reduced her own world indoor record to 49.24, while Klaver clocked a PB of 50.10.

But USA's Holmes has also been in PB form, and she’ll be supported on the US team by the likes of Talitha Diggs and Quanera Hayes, both sub-5o-second performers outdoors.

Jamaica, who beat the Netherlands to gold in Belgrade two years ago by just 0.17, heads to Glasgow with solid depth and should once again feature in the hunt for medals.

A home crowd can do wonders for a relay team, so don’t be surprised if Great Britain challenge for a place on the podium. Twins Laviai and Lina Nielsen have been in PB form this indoor season, while world bronze medallists Ama Pipi and Jessie Knight are also on the squad.

With four quality teams going head to head, the world indoor record of 3:23.37 – also set in Glasgow in 18 years ago – could come under threat.

Poland, who has reached the podium in this event at the past three editions, should also feature at the front end of the race.

The Czech Republic and Belgium could be underdogs, while Portugal and Ireland will have their sights set on reaching the final.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics