Thank you, Dale Garland of Great Britain.
He quoted on BBC that you should put your best runner first on an indoor 4×400 meter relay.
I always use this strategy on indoor relays such as 4×200 and 4×400. It’s better to get in front, and let them catch you.
So I agree with Dale. With tight turns and short straightaways, it makes it very difficult to pass a lead runner.
You also avoid the potential trouble of baton exchanges with all the pushing and shoving that goes on.
Tyler Christopher will say this is hogwash. He won last year’s 400 meter World indoors on the last 30 meters, and his recent 2009 performances seem to be the same strategy:
Run 150 meters, break for the pole, if not in the lead then draft behind the leader, relax until 350 meters, then kick for home from lane 3.
Here is a partial quote from Dale Garland on BBC:
“When you’re running indoors it’s two laps as opposed to one and the second lap,” he told BBC Guernsey.
“In the relay it becomes even more important to get in front early,” the Bath-based 28-year-old added.
“You’ll see a lot of teams putting their best runner on the first leg to get out in front and stay out of trouble. It always makes good watching but it’s always a bit nerve-wracking for those running.”