Paris 2024 for Bahamas relay team
Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo

More than 1600 athletes flew into the Bahamas last week to participate in the World Relays over the weekend in Nassau, with the sole purpose of qualifying their respective National Olympic Committees’ (NOC) relay squads for the Paris 2024 games.

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Seventy teams could qualify given the system over the two-day period. Over 20 heats, the top 2 from each qualified for the Olympics, while another 30 could potentially make it the following day in one of the 15 repechage consolation heats.

The Caribbean comprised many of these teams, with the host nation putting on a festive show opening night Saturday. The Bahamas’ two 400m Olympic Champions were on duty for the Mixed 4x400m Relays. Steven Gardiner split an opening leg, while the reigning two-time Women’s 400m champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, anchored the blue and gold and black home in a national record (NR) 3:12.81 with a 49.54 split. Notably absent was Anthonique Strachan, who decided to give her leg to 16-year-old sprint prodigy Shania Adderley.

Jamaica, despite missing plenty of star power, acquitted itself well and qualified for both 4×1 events, the Women’s 4x400m, and the Mixed 4×400 relay. In the 4×1, Jodean Williams, Tia Clayton, Remona Burchell, and Alana Reid won their consolation repechage heat in 42.74 over Trinidad and Tobago.

The men qualified not only for Paris but for the World Athletics Relays final proper, with Bryan Levell, Kadrian Goldson, Ryiem Forde, and Sandrey Davison running 38.88 for seventh place.

The men’s 4×4 missed this opportunity to qualify for Paris, but they need to run faster than 2:59.12 (as of May 6th) by June 30th, or they won’t be going.

The continent of Africa had quite the success as well.

Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria all set SB or national records en route to Olympic qualification in the men’s and women’s 4×100 relay heats. The Ivorian Women’s 4×100 qualified for their first Olympics since 2000 in 42.63 behind Italy in the repechage rounds, with Murielle Ahouré-Demps, Jessika Gbai, Maboundou Koné, and Marie-Josée Ta Lou.

In a post-race interview with Citius Mag, Ta Lou said, “Paris is like our second home! … This is the closest we get to having the Olympics at home so you know we’re gonna be ready to show out.”

2021 200m Olympic Finalist and three-time outdoor NCAA Champion Joseph Fahnbulleh anchored the Liberian National Team’s 4×1 from 5th to 2nd place in a national record of 38.65.

Botswana took advantage of the absence of the USA in the Men’s 4x400m final, winning in a world-leading (WL) 2:59.11 over South Africa (3:00.11) and Belgium (3:02.16). Letsile Tebogo, the former WJR holder in the 100 and world championship medalist in the 100 and 200, continued to flaunt his sprinting range with a 43.72 split on the second leg.

The Southern African nation became the first from the continent to win a men’s sprint relay at the World Relays.

For situations like the male Jamaican and USA 4×400 relays that failed to qualify this weekend in the Bahamas, they will have a few more opportunities before the cutoff on June 30th.

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Auburn Mann
Is a budding freelance Journalist. He worked for news outlets like Capital News Service, a news wire based out of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he graduated from with a Master's in Journalism. He has an undergraduate degree in communications from Bowie State University, where he served as Deputy Managing Editor for the schools official Newspaper: The Spectrum. He has also contributed to newspapers like The Washington Afro American, Montgomery County Gazette and the Takoma/Silver Spring Voice. Auburn has a strong passion for Athletics, particularly events 800 meters and under( and their corresponding relays).

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