Pavel Maslak in action at the World Athletics Relays (© Dan Vernon)
Three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak, European indoor 400m champion Femke Bol, and African 100m champion Akani Simbine are among the big names on the final entry list for the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21.
The entries, published today, indicate that 127 relay teams from 37 countries will compete in Silesia.
Maslak will aim to keep the Czech men’s 4x400m team in a qualifying position for the Tokyo Olympics. They currently occupy the 16th and final spot in the list of provisional qualifiers for the Games, but a lane in the final in Silesia will secure their place in the Japanese capital.
Simbine, who has produced three sub-10-second performances already this year, will be reunited with two of his other South African 4x100m teammates from the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. Thando Dlodlo and Clarence Munyai joined Simbine in setting a national record of 37.65 in the heats before going on to finish fifth in the final.
In Doha they finished just 0.01 behind Brazil, winners of the 4x100m at the World Athletics Relays Yokohama 2019. Three members of that Brazilian sprint relay squad have been named for Silesia.
Several newly minted winners from the recent European Indoor Championships are slated to compete in Silesia. European indoor 400m champion Femke Bol leads a strong Dutch 4x400m team, which includes all of the women who contributed to their relay success indoors.
European indoor 60m champions Marcell Jacobs and Ajla del Ponte, meanwhile, are named on the Italian and Swiss squads respectively.
Many other global stars also feature on the entry lists, including world 400m silver medallist Anthony Zambrano of Colombia, two-time African 100m champion Blessing Okagbare, Belgium’s Borlee brothers, world 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich and his Kenyan teammate Emmanuel Korir.
Spain’s Angel David Rodriguez, who turns 41 later this month, is the oldest athlete entered for the event, while 17-year-old Nigerian sprinter Imaobong Nse Uko is the youngest.