Japan to stage the 2019 relays event the year before hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Nassau has passed the baton to Yokohama with the confirmation that the Japanese city will host the IAAF World Relays in 2019.

As AW reported in our October 4 magazine, Japan replaces the Bahamas as hosts of the event, with the Bahamian capital having staged the first three editions in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

After the Bahamas Government confirmed that it would no longer be able to offer the financial guarantee that underpinned the event in Nassau, several member federations expressed interest in the event and the IAAF Council voted this week to award it to Yokohama. Competition will take place at the Yokohama International Stadium on May 11-12 next year.

“I am delighted that Yokohama has stepped in to host our youngest World Athletics Series event and I am confident that they will do an outstanding job despite the short preparation period,” said IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

“Several of our member federations expressed interest in hosting the popular IAAF World Relays next year and I thank them for their efforts, which confirm the appeal of what is a very entertaining team-based competition with a unique spirit.

“Japanese crowds are renowned for their enthusiastic support and I am sure they will give our athletes a tremendous reception next year.

“This will also be a great opportunity for our athletes to experience the culture and conditions of the host nation little more than a year before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Yokohama has long been regarded as the gateway to Japan, as the first port opened to foreign trade in 1859, and now it will once again welcome the world.”