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Previews30 Apr 2024

WRE Bahamas 24 preview: rivalries renewed in women's 4x100m


The winning US 4x100m team at the World Championships in Budapest (© Getty Images)

There’s so much to race for at the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24 and in the women’s 4x100m, athletes from 30 teams will be battling it out for Olympic places, prize money and bragging rights.

For all five of the events in Nassau, the top 14 teams in each will automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Since the last edition of the World Athletics Relays, either the United States or Jamaica have won the three major global titles on offer, and they’ll renew their rivalry this weekend (4-5 May).

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Jamaica claimed the Olympic crown ahead of USA in Tokyo, before USA won world gold in Oregon and retained the title in Budapest, both times beating Jamaica. 

In Nassau, the US team will feature four of the athletes who helped their nation to top of the podium in Budapest: individual 200m silver medallist Gabby Thomas and Tamari Davis, who both raced in the final, are joined by heat runners Tamara Clark and Melissa Jefferson. Mikiah Brisco, who formed part of a US team that ran a world-leading 41.94 in Gainesville earlier this month, and Celera Barnes add further strength to the squad.

While the Jamaican team also boasts much quality, just two of the team members from those three global finals return. Natasha Morrison and Remona Burchell both ran in the heats in Tokyo, while the consistent Morrison – also a world relay gold medallist in Beijing and Doha – led off for Jamaica in Budapest last year.

The squad is not lacking speed, however, and their teammate Alana Reid, the world U20 200m bronze medallist, set a national U20 100m record of 10.92 last year.

But in Nassau it will be far from a two-way fight. Great Britain bagged bronze in Tokyo and Budapest and the squad this time includes returning team members Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Annie Tagoe. Lansiquot has already run 11.02 – just 0.03 off her PB – this season.

The other medallist from those three major finals is Germany, the 2017 World Relays winner. Two of the four 2022 bronze medal-winning team members are in Nassau: Rebekka Haase and Gina Luckenkemper.

Italy won at the last edition of the World Relays in Silesia in 2021, and two members of that team – Anna Bongiorni and Irene Siragusa – return to defend the title.

Other teams who will be pushing for the podium as well as Olympic places will be Poland, featuring world indoor 60m silver medallist Ewa Swoboda, and Cote d'Ivoire, with multiple major medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, plus their fellow 2023 world finalists Netherlands and Switzerland.

France, with Gemima Joseph who recently ran a 100m PB of 11.04, will want to secure that spot for the home Olympics.

The Canadian squad stars the new national record-holder Audrey Leduc, who ran 10.96 just over a week ago, while the Australian team includes Torrie Lewis, the 19-year-old who won the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Xiamen, alongside her fellow area record-setting teammates Bree Masters, Ella Connolly and Ebony Lane.

The host nation’s squad features 60m hurdles world champion and world record-holder Devynne Charlton and Charisma Taylor, who finished sixth in the 60m hurdles and the triple jump on the same day at the World Indoor Championships.

Ecuador's 4x100m women made history in Silesia as they achieved their nation’s first ever Olympic relay spot by finishing fifth at the World Relays. Three years on, Angela Gabriela Tenorio and Gabriela Anahi Suarez are back, hoping to help their nation now secure a place for Paris.

Like Cote d'Ivoire, teams from Austria, Estonia, Hungary and Liberia are competing at the World Athletics Relays for the first time.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics