Shota Iizuka in the 4x100m at the IAAF World Relays (© Getty Images)
The first day of the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 will climax with the final of the mixed shuttle hurdles relay, one of two new disciplines at the event due to be held on 11-12 May.
The World Relays timetable, published today, also confirms that the final for the mixed 2x2x400m will be held on the first day of action, along with the heats for all 4x100m and 4x400m events.
All other finals will be held on the second day, ending with the men’s 4x100m – which will be of particular interest to the host nation as it is the event in which they hold the Olympic silver and world bronze medals.
IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 timetable
Saturday 11 May
18:38 Mixed shuttle hurdles relay heats
19:10 Women’s 4x400m heats
19:35 Men’s 4x400m heats
20:13 Women’s 4x100m heats
20:40 Mixed 2x2x400m final
21:05 Men’s 4x100m heats
21:30 Mixed 4x400m heats
21:55 Mixed shuttle hurdles relay final
Sunday 12 May
18:10 Women’s 4x200m heats
18:31 Men’s 4x200m heats
18:52 Women’s 4x400m B final
19:05 Men’s 4x400m B final
19:21 Women’s 4x400m final
19:37 Men’s 4x400m final
19:53 Mixed 4x400m final
20:09 Women’s 4x200m final
20:23 Men’s 4x200m final
20:37 Women’s 4x100m final
20:52 Men’s 4x100m final
The mixed shuttle hurdles relay will feature two men and two women on each team, running 110m legs. The race will begin with the women running their standard 100m hurdles race from the finish line towards the traditional start, but running an extra 10 metres at the end of their leg to account for the extra distance.
They will then change over to the first man on the team who will run 110m back up the straight in the adjacent lane and then change over to the second woman, and so on.
The mixed 2x2x400m, designed for middle distance specialists, requires both members of the team to run two 400m legs of a relay. As with the mixed 4x400m, each team can choose to start with a man or the woman. The athletes then take it in turns to run their two legs of the relay.
Several leading international athletes have already voiced their support for the new additions to the World Relays. USA’s Erik Sowinski, who has featured on the victorious 4x800m teams at the past two editions of the World Relays, says the 2x2x400m will appeal more to middle-distance runners.
“I think it’s for 800m athletes,” said the 2016 world indoor 800m bronze medallist. “400m runners might go out too hard and with only 52 seconds of rest they’re going to hurt. It would be awesome to be a part of that race. We simulate a lot of stuff like that in practice; we’ll do a 500m and take a minute rest and then do a 300m. It would be pretty good for me, but there are a lot of guys in the US who’d be pretty good at it too.”
The local organising committee for the IAAF World Relays have also launched their website: iaafworldrelays.com/yokohama2019. Tickets for the event will go on sale next month.