An IAAF delegation concluded the second official IAAF site visit to Nassau, Bahamas, host city of the upcoming IAAF World Relays, on Thursday (31).
IAAF Senior Vice President Bob Hersh said: "The IAAF is delighted to be in The Bahamas making the final organisational check up on a brand new competition, the World Relays. With only 204 days to go, we are pleased to see the hard work and dedication that has been shown so far by the organisers. We will work hard to help them as we approach the crucial final straight.
"The IAAF believes there will be worldwide interest in a weekend of sport dedicated just to the relays, which have always an exciting and dramatic highlight at our World Championships and Olympics.
“We will introduce exciting innovations in terms of both the event presentation and the TV coverage. I am also certain that the world's best athletes – not only from sprints but middle distances also – will be excited about visiting Nassau in May, where the weather conditions and the support from a track-crazy public will help them achieve exceptional performances."
During the two-day site visit, all matters related to the general organisation of the IAAF World Relays were discussed.
Visits were also made to the athletes’ hotels and various other facilities, including the main competition venue itself, which is the National Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
The facility has a seating capacity of 15,000. The first edition of the relays will be an historic occasion for the city of 250,000 as it is the first country to host the event and the largest sporting event ever in The Bahamas.
"As the organisers of this important IAAF World Relays, we will meet the IAAF's expectations,” added Local Organising Committee Executive Chairman, Keith Parker.
The delegation included IAAF Senior Vice President and Technical Delegate Robert Hersh, IAAF Council Member and Organisational Delegate Alberto Juantorena Danger and senior staff from the IAAF led by General Secretary Essar Gabriel.
During the visit, the IAAF representatives also met key figures from the political and business sectors in The Bahamas, who are determined to make the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 an outstanding success.
A courtesy call was also paid to The Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Perry Gladstone Christie.
Minister of Youths, Sports and Culture, Dr Daniel Johnson, said: "We are encouraged that this competition will reach millions of viewers in more than 100 countries and we see it as a great opportunity to remind the world that The Bahamas is now a major destination for world class sporting events."
The IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 is expected to welcome more than 700 athletes and 300 team officials from more than 40 nations.
President of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), Mike Sands, commented, “We will ensure that the these World Relays not only promote the great sport of athletics, but showcase Nassau, and the entire Bahamas, in the best possible light.”