Despite some late withdrawals due to COVID-19, the 2021 World Athletics Relays were a success. The event doubled as an Olympic qualifier where the finalists obtained a quota to compete, provided they didn’t already qualify at the 2019 World Championships. In total, 23 teams from 15 nations qualified a spot to the games. The World Athletics Relays were held in Chorzow, Poland from May 1st to May 2nd 2021.
Among the Olympic events, Italy was able to win two gold medals where they were triumphant in the women’s 4x100m and mixed 4x400m relay along with a silver in the men’s 4x100m. The Netherlands won gold in the men’s 4x400m and bronze in the women’s 4x100m. Japan also won multiple medals in Olympic events with silver in the men’s 4x400m and bronze in the men’s 4x100m. The men’s 4x100m was won by South Africa while the women’s 4x400m was won by Cuba.
In terms of Olympic qualification, the biggest winners were Italy and the Netherlands. The former qualified in the men’s 4x100m, women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m while the latter qualified in the women’s 4x100m, men’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m. By qualifying in these events, both nations are now set to compete in all five relay events.
Also qualifying in multiple events include Denmark (men’s and women’s 4x100m), France (women’s 4x100m and 4x400m), Germany (men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x400m) and Japan (women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m). Rounding out the qualifiers are Botswana (men’s 4x400m), Cuba (women’s 4x400m), Dominican Republic (mixed 4x400m), Ecuador (women’s 4x100m), Ghana (men’s 4x100m), Ireland (mixed 4x400m), Poland (women’s 4x100m), South Africa (men’s 4x400m) and Spain (mixed 4x400m).
The final Olympic quotas will be decided via the World Athletics Ranking List. There will be four quotas to be determined in the men’s 4x100m and men’s and women’s 4x400m, three quotas for the mixed 4x400m and two quotas for the women’s 4x100m.