Canada names its World Relays teams for Nassau clash

Athletics Canada named its teams for the IAAF World Relays set to take place in Nassau, Bahamas from May 2 to 3.

The event sees most of the fastest sprinters and middle distance runners in the world representing their countries in various relay distances. Underlining the second edition of the Relays is the added impetus of Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.

Aaron Brown feels Canada has the talent to compete with the world's best for years to come.

Aaron Brown, who missed the Relays in 2014, will be on Team Canada for Nassau in 2015.

The Canadian men’s 4x100m team has six athletes to choose from in Aaron Brown, Akeem Haynes, Segun Makinde, Dontae Richards-Kwok, Gavin Smellie and Justyn Warner. Three of the sprinters – Richards-Kwok, Smellie and Warner – ran for Canada in the final last year where the team finished sixth with a time of 38.55. The team figures to be faster in 2015 with the inclusion of Brown, who missed the inaugural event with NCAA commitments.

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The women’s 4x100m team missed qualifying for the final last year and will look to improve on it with Khamica Bingham, Shai-Anne Davis, Crystal Emmanuel, Phylicia George, Kimberley Hyacinthe and Farah Jacques to choose from in the heats.

Khamica Bingham prepares to receive the baton in a relay. Photo via Athletics Canada.

Khamica Bingham prepares to receive the baton in a relay. Photo via Athletics Canada.

Other teams competing for Canada will spike up in the 4x200m and 4x400m (men and women), and there’s a women’s 4×800 team rounding out the roster. Full team breakdowns are available at the Athletics Canada website. The men’s 4x400m team will undoubtedly run with a heavy heart, missing teammate Daundre Barnaby who passed away recently in a drowning accident.

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There will likely be season’s best and world best times run in the 4x100m and 4x400m heats in Nassau because the eight teams that advance to the final will automatically qualify for Rio 2016. That bonus has top sprinting power Jamaica calling on Usain Bolt (who missed the Relays in 2014) to compete. The world’s fastest man called the races in Bahamas “serious business” as he prepares for a return to form ahead of IAAF World Championships in Beijing this August.

The United States won the overall title – Golden Baton – in the inaugural competition, beating Jamaica. Kenya, relying heavily on its dominant middle distance runners for huge point gains in 4x800m and 4x1500m was third overall.