USA's Tony McQuay in the 4x400m (© Getty Images)
The 4x400m is the traditional closing event for many meetings worldwide, and for good reason. The distance is long enough to be uncomfortable for pure sprinters and draw in some middle-distance runners, short enough to demand total effort above tactics, and tremendously dramatic, even among other relays.
As with the women, the US men have used their depth to dominate in recent memory, but potential challenges come from all sides, not least from the Olympic champion Bahamian team.
LaShawn Merritt and Tony McQuay will highlight the US squad in Nassau, but there’s another champion in the pool: Christian Taylor, the 2011 world triple jump champion. Taylor ran the relay for the University of Florida and claims a 45.17 PB, set last month. Clayton Parros, David Verburg and Torrin Lawrence round out the pool.
The Bahamians, led by world indoor silver medallist Chris Brown, have their entire Olympic relay team entered, including Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller. LaToy Williams and Wesley Nemour fill out the pool. The hosts will need to leave their gold medals at home if they’re not to be slowed down in their rematch with the USA, however.
Jamaica has the power to be in the final here as well, but there are several strong European teams likely to mount a challenge. Belgium, in particular, brings three Borlee brothers to the race (Kevin, Jonathan and Dylan), and the French are not to be ignored.
Two more formidable teams will come from the Caribbean; Cuba brings William Collazo, and the Dominicans will have Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos. If they all run the anchor legs – which is far from a certainty – the final could have all the single-lap credentials of a Diamond League race.
Parker Morse for the IAAF