Usain Bolt in the mens 4x100m Relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Beijing, China

Preview: men’s 4x100m – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

Jamaica’s long-held dominance of global 4x100m running could be under threat by a resurgent USA.

The Bolt-inspired Caribbean nation has won this title at each of the past three World Championships – plus gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics – yet the USA looks well positioned to strike back and will be boosted by their defeat of the Jamaica quartet at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas in May.

World leader Justin Gatlin will lead the US challenge, supported by three further sub-9.90 sprinters – Tyson Gay, Trayvon Bromell and Mike Rodgers – and the squad looks strong enough to collect a long-awaited first world men’s 4x100m title in eight years.  

Any Jamaican team containing the incomparable Bolt should of course not be discounted. Joined by the likes of a returning Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade, the defending champions still boast a powerful unit and the race for gold should provide a thrilling finale to the penultimate day of competition inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

A number of other nations will also fancy their medal chances in what is always a tricky event to predict given the potential for baton mishaps.

Canada won world bronze in Moscow two years ago and with NCAA and Pan American 100m champion Andre De Grasse in their ranks they will be a serious medal threat.

Japan, traditionally solid performers in this event, boast some exciting young talent in their ranks and will be bolstered by winning a bronze medal in 38.20 behind the USA and Jamaica at the World Relays.

The Caribbean is a sprinting hotbed and Trinidad and Tobago, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic silver medallists, led by Keston Bledman, should also feature.

Also look out also for Antigua and Barbuda (38.14), the third-fastest team in the world this year.

The European challenge is headed by Great Britain and France. Britain boasts sub-10-second sprinter Chijindu Ujah and world indoor champion Richard Kilty to draw upon. European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut and Christophe Lemaitre lead a strong-looking French squad, while Brazil and Germany could also figure.

Steve Landells for the IAAF