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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Previews19 Apr 2017

Women's 4x200m preview – IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017


Nigeria, winners of the women's 4x200m at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 (© Getty Images)

As with most of the sprint relay events on the IAAF World Relays programme this weekend, the women's 4x200m is expected to come down to another showdown in the ongoing USA-Jamaica rivalry.

It'll have added import in two significant ways: as the first event on the programme, it'll help set the stage for the weekend, and secondly, will feature the first of Elaine Thompson's two eagerly-anticipated appearances.

The 24-year-old Jamaican emerged from last year's Rio stage as the sport's new sprint Queen after claiming the first Olympic short dash double in 28 years. She has already started fast this year, clocking a wind-assisted 10.75 (2.2m/s) last Saturday in Kingston, signalling that she'll arrive in the Bahamian capital ready to guide Jamaica to their first World Relays victory in the 4x200m.

Although she's the youngest, Thompson is by far the class of the Jamaican squad, which despite the absence of another major individual medallist, includes Samantha Henry-Robinson and Anastasia Le-Roy and Jura Levy, who've each contributed to the country's relay medal hauls at either 4x100m or 4x00m globally in recent years.

Aiming to regain the title they won in 2014 – and to make up for botched baton exchanges which ended in the team's disqualification in 2015 – the USA brings seasoned relay talent as well. English Gardner, a 100m Olympic finalist last year, was on the victorious Olympic 4x100m squad and took silver in the event at the 2015 World Championships, where she teamed with Jenna Prandini, who is also in Nassau. Shalonda Solomon, who led off for the victorious 2014 quartet, returns as well.

Then there's Nigeria, who will be out to show that their triumph in 2015 wasn't a fluke. They'll be looking to the experienced Blessing Okagbare, the 200m and long jump bronze medallist at the 2013 World Championships, for guidance.

With Reyare Thomas, Semoy Hackett and Michelle-Lee Ahye in their ranks, Trinidad and Tobago will also bring experience to the line and should be in the medal chase as well. France, led by European indoor 400m champion Floria Guei, could also be a medal factor.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF