With 40 days to go until the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019, five-time world champion and triple Olympic gold medallist Gail Devers has been announced as an ambassador for the event on 11-12 May.
This year’s World Relays will have two new events on its programme: the mixed 2x2x400m, designed with middle-distance specialists in mind, and the mixed shuttle hurdles relay for sprint hurdlers.
The mixed shuttle hurdles relay – which will be the last final of the first day in Yokohama – will feature two men and two women on a team, each running 110m legs. The race will begin with the women running their standard 100m hurdles race from the finish line towards the traditional start, but running an extra 10 metres at the end of their leg to account for the extra distance.
They will then change over to the first man on the team who will run 110m back up the straight in the adjacent lane and then change over to the second woman, and so on.
Devers was particularly excited about the new discipline for hurdlers.
“I cannot wait to see what performances will come out of that event,” said Devers, who won 4x100m gold at the 1996 Olympics and 1997 World Championships. “When I competed, the relays was always a team booster because it wasn’t just me out there by myself; there were three other people with me out there competing to get the baton around the track.
“Being an ambassador means a lot to me because I’ll be able to support the young athletes who are out there competing and give back to a sport that has given so much to me throughout my career.
“I think this year’s World Relays is going to be super exciting,” she added. “Everyone will bring their A-game and will want to do well for their team. I can’t wait.”
Tickets for the World Relays went on sale last week and can be purchased via the event's official ticketing website, tickets.iaafworldrelays.com.