Mike Rowbottom of Inside the Games is one of my favorite writers. Sitting in a pub, and having a chat on athletics and other stories is a great way to spend an evening. So, when Mike writes on the IAAF World Relays, I read his feature. And so should you!
And, one more thing, if you are not reading insidethegames.biz, you are truly missing much on our global sports scene.
Last year, I really liked the World Relays. On the 4×400 meter men’s race, as the crowd went absolutely bonkers, I knew the IAAF truly had the best programming since the World Champs in 1983.
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.
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.
Mike Rowbottom covered the last three Olympic Games as chief feature writer for insidethegames, and the previous five for The Independent in London. He has worked for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer and The Guardian.