Previews29 Apr 2015

Men's 4x400m preview – IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015


LaShawn Merritt (L) of the United States reacts after winning the Men's 4x400 metres relay final ahead of Michael Mathieu (R) of Bahamas (© Getty Images)

This is the event the home crowd will be waiting for, and brings possibly The Bahamas’ one realistic chance of victory.

LaToy Williams, Demetrius Pinder, the evergreen Chris Brown and Michael Mathieu combined to finish second in front of an ecstatic local audience in the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium 12 months ago, chasing down the USA.

Pinder is not part of the squad this time which means a place may be found for their Olympic hero Ramon Miller, whose heroic anchor leg there brought The Bahamas their first ever men’s athletics gold medal.

The USA will obviously not give up their title easily and from last year’s winning quartet of David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Christian Taylor and LaShawn Merritt – who took the honours in 2:57:25, just 0.34 ahead of The Bahamas – only Taylor is missing.

On hand to step in for Taylor is either Kyle Clemons, part of the USA’s world indoor record-setting 4x400m team that won at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, or the venerable 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner.

Trinidad and Tobago finished third 12 months ago when Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow, Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon ran a national record of 2:58.34 and the same four are likely to be donning the nation’s famous red vests again.

Great Britain finished as the best European team in fourth place in 2014 but this time the best bet from the Old Continent on paper could be Belgium.

Belgium have all three of the famed Borlee brothers in their squad and younger sibling Dylan showed that he has grown in stature and can stand solidly alongside his older twin brothers Jonathan and Kevin after taking the 400m silver medal at the European Indoor Championships in March.

Botswana may not have quite enough overall depth to challenge for the medals but are intriguing entrants with the talented Issac Makwala in their team.

Along with the 4x100m, the first eight nations will get automatic qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF