Jamaican quartet after their men's 4x200m World record at the 2014 IAAF World Relays
Last year, the Jamaican quartet of Nickel Ashmeade, Warren Weir, Jermaine Brown and Yohan Blake flew to a world record of 1:18.63, breaking a 20-year-old mark held by a famed Santa Monica Track Club team, to provide one of the highlights of the inaugural edition of the IAAF World Relays.
The big question is, can they go into new territory again?
This time around, anchor man Blake is missing but a worthy substitute could be a certain Usain Bolt.
Bolt has been the Jamaican team anchorman on many of their gold medal-winning teams at major championships in recent years.
Theoretically, the 4x200m record should be within their reach but much will depend on the fitness of Bolt, although he has said that he wouldn’t have made himself available for the World Relays if he wasn’t in condition to make a significant contribution.
St Kitts were worthy, but distant, second-place finishers in 2014 thanks to some slick passing from Antoine Adams, Lestrod Roland, BJ Lawrence and Allistar Clarke, who combined to run a national record of 1:20.51.
The same four are among the nation’s six-man squad and will be looking to repeat their success in 2015.
But pride is at stake for the USA, who might have been confident of second place last year until a faulty changeover in the final between their second and third-leg runners saw them disqualified.
A strong US squad this time includes Ryan Bailey, Justin Gatlin and Wallace Spearmon. They could certainly challenge for a high placing and might even press the favoured Jamaicans.
Trinidad and Tobago didn’t contest this event in 2014 and, retrospectively, probably viewed that as a lost opportunity but this time they have a useful squad that includes sprinters of the calibre of Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson.
France last year finished as the best European team, taking third place, and they have sent a good squad that includes Christophe Lemaitre and Ben Bassaw, the first and third-leg runners in last year’s final.
However, the French could be pressed for continental supremacy by Germany, who failed to finish their heat last year, and the always well-drilled Poland.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF