World Relays – GB Assessment

GB was—along with the USA—the only country to qualify for Paris in all five relay categories. Since that was the main object of the exercise, our participation in the World Relays 2024 must be deemed a success.

The team’s results were

Men’s 4 X 100 Fifth in 38:45

Women’s 4 by 100 Bronze in 42.80

Men’s 4 X 400 Sixth 3:02.62

Women’s 4 by 400 Fourth 3:25.24

Mixed 4 X 400 Third in heat, won repechage in 3:12.99

It is difficult to assess these performances from a distance without knowing the overall selection strategy. 26 different athletes ran. Confirming the running theme of the event, that qualifying for Paris was more important than winning a medal, GB seemed to make changes between prelim and final, which in some cases weakened the team—presumably thinking that once qualification for Paris was secured, other athletes should be given a chance to run.

British Sprint Relay teams in WR Bahamas 2024, photo by World Athletics

The performance in the women’s sprint was particularly encouraging, given that Dina Asher-Smith and Darryl Neita were allowed to miss the relays and that Imani Lansiquot and Asha Philip were not used in the final. This allowed Alyson Bell and Aleeya Sibbons to run in the final.

Bell said, “I’m absolutely over the moon. I think I was more nervous in the heats watching the girls get the baton round; it was so quick. I joined in, and it was so much fun. The Bahamas crowd and the heat …it was all so overwhelming but in the best way, and it was so fun, and I am so happy!”

 Sibbons commented: “I am so happy. I’m so glad I came out here. It has been such a great experience racing with everyone. I am really excited about what is to come. If we can do this here, God knows what we can achieve in Paris. It was anyone’s selection, but I am so glad I did get selected and got to experience what it is like to compete out here with some of the team members.”

Four medals and a fourth place in the World Championships in Budapest last year was a magnificent achievement for Team GB, masterminded by Stephen Maguire. With Maguire now gone, it will be a massive challenge to replicate that performance in the even more competitive Olympic arena,

Finally, Matt Hudson-Smith challenged Zharnel Hughes to take him on over 300m. That should be fun.