Athletics News

World Relays — Team USA Goes 4 For 5

World Relays — Team USA Goes 4 For 5

“The chemistry we have been producing for the last three weeks is magical,” declared Noah Lyles after the USA men took the 4×1 in 37.40, just 0.02 off the ’23 World Champs gold medal time. (KEVIN MORRIS)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS, May 04–05 — The sixth World Relays proved to be a resounding success for World Athletics, with a sellout crowd of 15,000 inside Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Changes from the previous edition in ‘21 were evident. Gone were the 4×2 and shuttle hurdles as well as the experimental 2x2x4. Most importantly, the meet was directly tied to Olympic qualifying, with the 8 finalists in each event being guaranteed an Olympic berth. The finals on Sunday determined Olympic lane draws as well as World Relays medals and prize money ($40K for gold, $20K silver, $10K bronze, etc.).

In an additional repechage, or second-chance, round, the first two teams in each heat also gained Olympic berths. However, this round did not offer any chance for the teams to sneak into the Nassau finals. The final two Olympic berths in each event will come from the qualifying lists.

For Team USA, this year’s event marked a triumph in 4 of 5 events, with one disaster to keep the squad humble.


4 x 100: That the U.S. would be the team to beat was abundantly clear from their first heat lineup, all A-listers. Courtney Lindsey led off, Kenny Bednarek ran the backstretch well, then Kyree King covered the turn before handing off to Noah Lyles, who finished solidly. The result, a 37.49 world leader. Italy, with Olympic dash champ Marcell Jacobs on second leg, ran 38.14.

Heat 2 went to the French in 38.32; heat 3 to Canada (38.11); heat 4 to Japan (38.10).

U.S. coaches kept the same personnel and order for the final, and the consistency paid off. Lindsey burned his opener from lane 7, making up the stagger on Italy before a smooth pass to Bednarek. The 200 specialist stretched the lead out further on the backstretch and delivered a solid handoff to King. The Oregon alum built a bigger lead on the turn, then gave a quick handoff to Lyles.

The world champion never looked back, speeding the stretch and helping to bring the team to a 37.40 gold performance, just 0.02 off the Championship Record. Canada finished well for silver in 37.89, with France earning bronze in 38.44.

Said Lyles, “I can’t wait for the moment when we cross the finish 1st [in Paris]. I have always believed that the World Record is not so much about the speed as the handoffs. The…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at Track & Field News…