Lord Coe excited, makes stop in The Bahamas
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Apr 20, 2017
With less than two days to go before the start of the third edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Relays, IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe paid a visit to New Providence yesterday, to ensure that all the bases are covered and all of the pageantry is in place for the global event. The IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 is set for this Saturday and Sunday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, here in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Lord Coe, in the presence of the relays Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosamunde Carey and local organizing committee (LOC) Chairman Keith Parker, said that he’s excited to see how this year’s event plays out, and that although he won’t be in attendance, he trusts that the best people are in the right places to ensure that this year’s world relays goes off without a hitch.
Unfortunately, Coe will have to miss this year’s event due to a funeral that he has to attend this weekend.
“Honestly, the BAAA (Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations) and the LOC have become friends, not only to the IAAF, but also to me personally as well,” said Coe. “I first came to this beautiful island about 30 years ago, and it didn’t take me long to realize that this is a community that appreciates track and field. I am delighted to be here, because this is becoming a favorite part of the international family of events. This is the third time that The Bahamas has so graciously hosted all of us. I am delighted, also because this event has now become a big event on the calendar.”
Lord Coe might be on the other side of the world, but his administrative team in the IAAF will remain here for the world relays.
Once again, the world relays will be pivotal as the finalists in the men and women’s 4x100 meters (m) and 4x400m relay events will automatically qualify for the London World Championships. The 16th IAAF World Championships is set for August 4-13 in London, England.
“Anytime there is a chance to qualify for the world championships, athletes always give a little extra on the track, which should make for some exciting races,” said Coe.
Coe said that one of the races he is looking forward to the most is the mixed 4x400m relay, which is set to make its debut on the world relays program.
“I feel really good about this race,” he said. “Although the world relays isn’t the only event that will feature the race, it’s good to get a feel for it. I think the fans will enjoy it as well. I like it because it is innovative, and that’s what we have to keep doing. We have to keep coming up with new ideas to keep making these events more interesting.”
Along with the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, and the mixed relay, the men and women’s 4x200m and 4x800m events will be held.
The Bahamas is the first and only country to host the IAAF World Relays. It became the host country of the world relays under former IAAF President Lamine Diack. The Bahamas is set to host the 2019 IAAF World Relays as well.
The total prize purse of the relays is USD $1.26 million.