MIke Rowbottom ©insidethegames

The athletics world is limbering up for an event which brought a new dimension to the sport last year, and which promises to create another colourful splash of entertainment and excitement over the weekend.

We are talking, clearly, about the World Relays, the format which so amply rewarded the International Association of Athletics Federations for creating it as a main season-opener to their calendar last year.

This innovative competition will take place in the recently-built 15,000-seater Thomas A Robinson stadium at Nassau, in The Bahamas. As it did last year. And as it will when it is next staged in 2017.

The offer of the 2017 event to The Bahamas was made during the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco by the IAAF President Lamine Diack, who will retire this summer after almost 16 years in charge, to be replaced by either Sebastian Coe or Sergey Bubka.

It is an unprecedented occurrence in global athletics for the first three editions of any major championships to be held in any one place.

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Sergey Smelyk of Ukraine (left) and Trey Kimmons of the United States in action in the 4x100m relay at last year's inaugural IAAF World Relays in Nassau ©Getty Images

Given the success of last year's inaugural running in terms of profile and prestige, it is little surprise that the Bahamas Government has made it clear it would seize upon the chance to host the event permanently like...well, like a runner grabbing a baton.

To read this entire story in its orginal form, please go to: http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1027035/mike-rowbottom-familiarity-breeding-content-in-nassau-as-iaaf-world-relays-return