USA's Courtney Okolo and Quanera Hayes in the 4x400m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Birmingham, UK

Preview: women's 4x400m – IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018

A fierce squad which includes three of the four women who carried their team to gold in the 4x400m final at last year’s World Championships will be gunning for the USA’s third straight victory.

As red hot favourites to defend their crown, the US women will field world 400m champion Phyllis Francis, who recorded a 51.19 season’s best at the US Indoor Championships before winning in Glasgow last weekend, and Courtney Okolo, who won the US indoor title in 51.16.

Both women have won two global titles in the 4x400m. Francis contributed to USA’s 2016 Olympic and 2017 world titles in the event, while Okolo featured on the winning team at the 2016 Olympics and 2016 World Indoor Championships.

Shakima Wimbley, another member of the gold medal-winning team in London last summer, will also return to relay duties after registering 51.17 at the US Indoor Championships and winning at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Boston.

The US can also rely upon 2012 Olympic Games 400m hurdles fifth-place finisher Georganne Moline, who has improved this winter to 51.39, 2016 world indoor 400m bronze medallist Quanera Hayes, and 2014 world indoor 4x400m champion Joanna Atkins.

Great Britain last won this event back in 2012. With the expected home crowd support, the Brits will fancy their chances of returning to the podium.

Eilidh Doyle, the 2014 European 400m hurdles champion, will join forces with world 4x400m silver medallists Anyika Onuora and Zoe Clark.

The Jamaicans, meanwhile, will call upon 2013 world 400m bronze medallist Stephenie-Ann McPherson,  Commonwealth 400m hurdles bronze medallist Janieve Russell and world U20 400m champion Tiffany James.

Poland will also be in the medal hunt and they will be led by European indoor 400m bronze medallist Justyna Swiety-Ersetic, who has anchored Poland to European indoor gold, world indoor silver and world bronze.

Nicola Sutton for the IAAF