Two new events have been added to the IAAF World Relays to be staged from May 12-13 in Yokohama, Japan. A mixed 2x2x400m relay and mixed shuttle hurdles relay have been added to the programme 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 over the 2-day relay carnival. 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 endurance relay event, requires both members of the team to run two 400m legs of a relay. In 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. The mixed 2x2x400m replaces the 4x800m relay, which proved to have limited appeal at previous editions of the World Relays.