British Athletics has announced the athletes selected for the men’s, women’s and mixed 4x400m relay at the 2021 World Athletics Relays which are due to be held in Silesia, Poland on 1-2 May 2021.
Prior to selection, it was agreed that there will be no men’s or women’s 4x100m relay teams entered due to several factors caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Following consultation between the respective athletes and the British Athletics Performance team, all parties agreed on this approach to the event.
Olympic relay bronze medallist Emily Diamond (coach: Benke Blomkvist; club: Bristol & West) will be joined by multiple global relay medallist Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna; Thames Valley) and 2017 world silver medallist Laviai Nielsen (Christine Harrison-Bloomfield; Enfield and Haringey) in the squad.
Clark will also be reunited with Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) and Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield and Haringey) who were part of the silver medal-winning quartet at the European Indoor Championships in February.
World Indoor and European relay bronze medallist Amy Allcock (Glyn Hawkes; Aldershot Farnham and District) will join the squad alongside Yasmin Liverpool (Stewart Marshall; Coventry) and Jess Turner (Nick Dakin; Amber Valley and Erewash).
The men’s team includes Olympic, world and European medallist, Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin; Croydon), and fellow London 2017 bronze medallists, Dwayne Cowan (Hercules Wimbledon) and Rabah Yousif Bkheit (Carol Williams; Newham & Essex Beagles).
Joe Brier (Matt Elias; Swansea), Lee Thompson (John Henson; Sheffield & Dearne) and James Williams (self-coached; Liverpool Harriers) – all part of the bronze-medal winning team at the 2021 European indoors – earn their second British team call-ups of the season.
Finally, Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist; Colchester), who will be making his senior GB debut, and Efe Okoro (Tony Hadley; Birchfield) complete the line-up.
The mixed relay teams will be selected from the athletes within the women’s and men’s 4x400m relay squads.
Performance Director, Sara Symington, said, “We are really pleased to be selecting strong teams for the respective relay events. Maintaining the health and safety of all athletes, coaches and team personnel is of paramount importance to us, as is recognising athletes wishes in their preparation for Tokyo, so all athletes were given the option to opt-in or opt-out of the event for this year.
“In terms of the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays, it was a joint decision between the British Athletics Performance team and the respective 4x100m squads to not enter teams for those events to the World Athletics Relays.
“The 4x400m athletes and staff have opted to take the opportunity to compete and we will support them in this approach. It is vital that we recognise these are challenging times and that we fully consult with the athletes and staff on the best way to prepare for Tokyo, recognising that one approach will not necessarily fit both squads.”
Head of Long Sprints and Relays, Tim Benjamin, said, “I am delighted to be selecting these very strong 4x400m athletes for the World Athletics Relays, the first event in my new role. We have several really experienced relay athletes as part of these teams, as well as some exciting up and coming talent who have demonstrated their potential during a challenging last year or so. This is a key preparation event for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer, so I am really looking forward to seeing how these teams perform in Poland.”
The British team for the 2021 World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland, 1-2 May:
Amy Allcock (Glyn Hawkes; Aldershot Farnham and District)
Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna; Thames Valley)
Emily Diamond (Benke Blomkvist; Bristol & West)
Yasmin Liverpool (Stewart Marshall; Coventry)
Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow)
Laviai Nielsen (Christine Harrison-Bloomfield; Enfield and Haringey)
Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield and Haringey)
Jessica Turner (Nick Dakin; Amber Valley and Erewash)
Joe Brier (Matt Elias; Swansea)
Dwayne Cowan (Hercules Wimbledon)
Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist; Colchester)
Efe Okoro (Tony Hadley; Birchfield)
Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin; Croydon)
Lee Thompson (John Henson; Sheffield & Dearne)
James Williams (self-coached; Liverpool Harriers)
Rabah Yousif Bkheit (Carol Williams; Newham & Essex Beagles)