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Two new events added to IAAF World Relays programme

Leading international athletes have welcomed the addition of two new events to the programme for the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019.
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.
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. To account for the extra distance, women will run out an extra 10 metres at the end of their leg.
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. The athletes then take it in turns to run their two legs of the relay.
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.
“The IAAF World Relays is our youngest World Athletics Series event and it was designed to be fun for our athletes and fans so it’s the perfect place to try new formats,” said IAAF president Sebastian Coe. “I’ve been championing innovation in our sport since I took the reins so it’s great to see the addition of a dynamic relay that will showcase our sprint hurdlers and I’ll be fascinated to see how the mixed 2x2x400m relay unfolds as a new endurance event that has never been tried before in athletics. I’m sure that both will contribute to the youthful, energetic atmosphere of the event, which we’re confident will be a resounding success in our new host city Yokohama in May.”


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