Berlin – Good news from the world's oldest and most popular athletics meeting: Spectators can look forward to a world premiere in the form of the first ever 4x100m international mixed relay.
Two German teams, each made up of two men and two women, will compete against mixed teams from countries around the world. German trainers Roland Stein and Thomas Kremer will be selecting the successful athletes from Helsinki. The German women took the gold medal with a time of 42.51 seconds while the German men came second behind the Netherlands with a time of 38.44.
Four nations - Britain, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Poland - have committed to fielding mixed-relay teams for the ISTAF premiere. France is extremely interested; the USA and Jamaica have not yet responded. To provide a further incentive for countries to be represented in the line-up for ISTAF's mixed-relay premiere, performances in second-stream, individual 'national races' over 100m will be considered.
The idea for a mixed relay was developed by meeting director Gerhard Janetzky at last year's ISTAF. „Relays are a big hit with spectators, especially when the athletes are running in their national colours, so we're happy to be trying something different here. The German teams have given us some great performances and shown what is possible."
Managing Director Martin Seeber, too, has good news: „We've already sold 30,000 tickets for the 2ndSeptember. The good turnout of the Germans in Euro 2012 has certainly given us a bonus in sales and we'll get another boost from the Olympics. I'm also delighted that we've been able to secure two new partners, Messe Berlin and Kaiser's, on top of the new chief sponsor, Spielbank Berlin / Novomatic AG."