Homiyu Tesfaye wins his 1500m heat at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
The new event on the IAAF World Relays programme replaces the 4x1500m and sees teams sending runners out on legs of 1200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m.
The target time for any nation to break the world record is 9:15.56, set by a Kenyan quartet at the Penn Relays in 2006.
Inevitably, based on the quality of their squad and with little other form to go on, it’s Kenya who will be the favourites for this innovative new event in Nassau and their squad includes Timothy Cheruiyot and Ferguson Rotich, the latter being part of Kenya’s victorious 4x800m team in 2014.
Despite the international inexperience of the other members of the Kenyan squad, what points in their favour is that key members of other anticipated challengers will probably have run in the 4x800m the day before.
Poland have named Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski in both relays, as have Bahrain with 2009 1500m world champion Yusuf Saad Kamel; although the latter also have the accomplished 1500m man Benson Seurei and junior 400m talent Abbas Abubakar Abbas to call upon.
Perhaps the challenge to the Kenyans will come from Germany, who have not entered the 4x800m.
The Germans have a squad that includes the fastest 1500m man in the world indoors this year, Homiyu Tesfaye, and the emerging 800m talent and former European junior champion Robin Schembera.
The USA, in many respects the home of the distance medley relay, could get in the medals with Will Leer and Andrew Wheating among their team and, in the field of seven which will be a straight final, Australia might also enter reckoning.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF