Team USA Media Kit
NASSAU, Bahamas – Team USA is set for the inaugural IAAF World Relays, as the U.S. will compete in all 10 relays in front of a sold-out crowd at Nassau’s Thomas A. Robinson Stadium this coming weekend, May 24-25, in The Bahamas.
In the U.S., Universal Sports Network will present exclusive television and online coverage of the event, going live Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on TV, and at 6:15 p.m. ET online at universalsports.com.
The inaugural edition of the IAAF World Relays has attracted teams from more than 40 nations comprising more than 500 athletes who form the best relay quartets on the planet, including powerhouses like USA, Jamaica, Kenya and Russia.
The innovative two-day competition will see men and women compete in the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m. A total prize purse of USD $1.4 million is on the table, and the top eight teams in the 4x100m and 4x400m will automatically qualify for the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
U.S. team captains are men’s 4x1500m relay member Will Leer
and women’s 4x800m relay member Chanelle Price
Team USA’s roster is comprised of 55 athletes across 10 relay pools, five on each side. The men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relay pools are especially impressive, with 2013 World Champions Tony McQuay
, LaShawn Merritt
, and David Verburg
in the pool, as well as Olympic gold medalist triple jumper Christian Taylor
, an accomplished quartermiler at the University of Florida, NCAA Champion Torrin Lawrence
and Clayton Parros
, who was a member of the 4x4 pool at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.
On the women’s side, Olympic gold medalists Natasha Hastings
, Sanya Richards-Ross
and Dee Dee Trotter
are in the relay pool, as well as two-time World medalists Joanna Atkins
, Jessica Beard
and Monica Hargrove
The official hashtag for the event is #WorldRelays. Be sure to follow along in Nassau with USATF on Twitter
IAAF PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Bianca Knight, women’s 4x200m relay pool
On the preparation for a 4x200m handoff vs. 4x100m handoff…
“The practices for the 4x200m are going as well as I can expect them to. It’s difficult to judge handoffs for 4x200m because you don’t know the speed where someone is coming to you, where the 4x100m, you get more of an accurate count. Practice has been good, though. We’re good at judging each other’s speed. Making sure we pay attention to the oncoming runner.”
Leo Manzano, men’s 4x1500m relay pool
On taking part in a relay as a distance runner…
“I’m so thrilled to be here. Running here is an honor. I changed coaches about eight weeks ago and I think my training is going really well. Now I have a new coach and a new sponsor and everything seems to be falling into place. What’s really special about this event is the team aspect in the distances. I haven’t felt this way about a team, like these are guys that you would lay it down on the line and die for, since college. We’re all really excited.”
Sanya Richards-Ross, women’s 4x400m relay pool
On which leg she’ll run at World Relays…
“Whether I’m 100 percent or not, I just want to be wherever I make the best contribution to the team. I ran leadoff (at the World Championships) in Daegu and that was a great result. Luckily the 4x400m coach is my coach, Clyde Hart. He knows my shape and where to put me. I’m running the second leg in prelims. I feel good and my training is going well. Running a relay takes the pressure off and allows you to rely on your teammates. I’m looking forward to have a great run. Coach (Hart) will make a decision after the prelim rounds what the final lineup will be.”
Wallace Spearmon, men’s 4x200m relay pool
On the rivalry with Jamaica…
“I’d definitely say we have a lot of young guys and this is their first time taking part in a major championship and representing their country. I think it’s a good thing because they don’t know their limits, so they can step up with good performances. You don’t know what you’re supposed to do or not, what you’re capable of. Jamaica always has clean stick (exchanges), almost flawless. They have Yohan Blake and they always have a lot of speed. We came here to win. You’re never racing for second.”
Christian Taylor, men’s 4x400m relay pool
On running the 400m as an Olympic champion triple jumper…
“To be honest, I’ve been very blessed and I’m talented. I have to credit my parents. I was just never given the chance (after college to run). I always went and ran a 400m and that was it. For me, I prefer to run the 400m than to long jump. I’m passionate about it and I enjoy it. People counted me out. For me to make this team, it was a challenge, something that burned inside. I want to challenge myself and challenge the world. Now, when I go on to social media, jumpers say I’m inspiring them to do more. I want to help the next generation.”
Morgan Uceny, women’s 4x1500m relay pool
On the opportunity to run with a relay rather than individually…
“All the distance runners, we’re just excited to be a part of a team. Typically you’re on a team with your competitors and so even though you’re on Team USA, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a team. Here, we get to represent USA and get to represent your country with your competitors. This is really changing (the typical feeling). We’re a unit. It’s a great aspect of the event.”