Two new events have been added to the 2019 IAAF World Relays that are being held in Yokohama, Japan on May 11 and 12.

A mixed 2x2x400m relay and mixed shuttle hurdles relay were the events added, joining the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m and the mixed 4x400m.

There will now be three men’s events, three women’s events and three mixed events being contested during the relays that will be held outside the Caribbean for the first time. Previous editions of the relays were held in the Bahamas.

“The IAAF World Relays is our youngest World Athletics Series event and it was designed to be fun for our athletes and fans so it’s the perfect place to try new formats,” said IAAF President Sebastien Coe.

“I’ve been championing innovation in our sport since I took the reins so it’s great to see the addition of a dynamic relay that will showcase our sprint hurdlers and I’ll be fascinated to see how the mixed 2x2x400m relay unfolds as a new endurance event that has never been tried before in athletics.

“I’m sure that both will contribute to the youthful, energetic atmosphere of the event, which we’re confident will be a resounding success in our new host city Yokohama in May.”

2018 Commonwealth Games 200m gold medallist Jereem Richards believes the 2x2x400m relay should be ‘interesting.”

“It is going to be a very interesting race to see what countries are going to take part, too see who countries have to take part in this event because I know some people are definitely going to focus on the 4×4 and probably the 4×2,” he said.

“It’s a first so people will be looking forward to setting a world record, being it’s the first time. With the high calibre of athletes they have in the Caribbean and around the world, somebody is going to set the world record and get the bonus, but it will be interesting to see who is going to compete in it, though.”

Meanwhile, 2018 Continental Cup 100m hurdles champion believes adding the shuttle hurdles event will be exciting.

“Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve only ever seen it done once before, at the Drake Relays, and it was exciting. Plus, it gets hurdlers involved in the meet,” said the Jamaican champion, who reveals that she has no plans to compete at the relays this year.

Source: Leighton Levy