Great Britain and Northern Ireland will begin their campaign at the 2021 World Athletics Relays on Saturday 1 May, with the women’s, men’s and mixed 4x400m relays in qualifying round action.
The women’s 4x400m kicks off the programme at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland, with the British team going in heat three at 18:22 (BST). The first two teams in each of the three heats will qualify automatically for the final while the next two fastest will also advance.
The women’s line up starts with Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield and Haringey), who was a key member of the silver-medal winning relay squad at the European Indoor Championships in March. Pipi will hand over to Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna; Thames Valley), who will pass the baton to Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow), both of whom were also in that triumphant team in Torun. Jessica Turner (Nick Dakin; Amber Valley and Erewash) takes on the final leg to bring the team home.
The Brits, who start in lane five, will face strong competition from Germany, with Botswana, Chile and Japan also in their heat.
The men’s 4x400m relay follows with the British team in heat three at 18:55 (BST). Joe Brier (Matt Elias; Swansea) will set the team off before handing over to James Williams (self-coached; Liverpool). Both athletes helped guide GB & NI to the bronze medal at the European Indoors. Williams will pass the baton to senior debutant, Kevin Metzger (Stephen Ball; Sale Harriers Manchester) on the third leg. The Sale Harriers Manchester athlete will then handover to Dwayne Cowan (Hercules Wimbledon) on the final leg.
The men face the hosts, Poland, as well as Germany, Italy and Botswana, with the same criteria for qualification as the women’s relay.
In the mixed relay, there is a strong line-up with team captain Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams; Newham and Essex Beagles) leading off the team in the lane one. Leg two will see world medallist Laviai Nielsen (Christine Harrison-Bloomfield) take to the track before exchanging with Olympic medallist, Emily Diamond (Benke Blomkvist; Bristol & West), while Lee Thompson (John Henson; Sheffield and Dearne) is named on leg four.
Once again, the British quartet will be in heat three at 20:42 (BST) alongside Belarus, Brazil, Botswana, Ireland, Germany and Dominican Republic.
Teams can be changed up until 95 minutes before the start of each race.
Unfortunately, Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist; Colchester) has been withdrawn from the races as a precautionary measure.
The World Athletics Relays will be available to watch on the BBC Red Button / BBC iPlayer / Online from 17:50 on Saturday 1 May and 18:10 on Sunday 2 May.
Ryan Thomas Williams