Already preparing to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan will welcome the athletics world a year earlier, when it holds the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama International Stadium on May 11-12, 2019.

The first three editions of the IAAF World Relays, in 2014, 2015 and 2017, were held in the Bahamian capital on a MONDOsurface; this year in May a mixed 2x2x400m relay and mixed shuttle hurdles relay have been added to the programme of events. Joining the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m and the mixed 4x400m, it means there will now be three men’s events, three women’s events and three mixed events being contested on the weekend of May 11-12 .

IAAF underlined that the mixed shuttle hurdles event is a completely new addition to the World Relays programme. Usually held as a single-sex race, the event in Yokohama will feature two men and two women on each team; the men will run 110m hurdles in one direction and will then hand over to the first woman on the team, who will run back up the straight to hand over to the second man, and so on.

The mixed 2x2x400m, a form of an endurance relay event, 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. Inspired by a mixed relay event introduced to biathlon in recent years, the 2x2x400m replaces the 4x800m relay, which proved to have limited appeal at previous editions of the World Relays.

There is much of interest, thrilling from all the athletic community about this new programme and as the IAAF World Relays is the youngest IAAF’s World Athletics Series event, and it was designed to be fun for all athletes and fans it’s the perfect place to try new formats.

Good luck to all athletes participating!