First, congrats on the GBR team for winning the 4x100m relay ay the 2017 World Championships.
Choosing your relay squad can be more complicated that doing your taxes.
It’s no longer “top 4 at Trials”.
It’s no longer “4 fastest guys on paper”.
There’s a lot of teamwork, chemistry, hand work, and so on. It’s an art and science.. and a bit of luck too.
If you look at the 2017 team, they didn’t use a lot of other faster guys (on paper). Like Reece Prescod, who won the Trials AND was a finalist at the Championships!
And more importantly, they used the same lineup as the morning heats. I personally hate changes, but if you must change, change the 1st or 4th runner, because it’s one less exchange to worry about (though that strategy didn’t go over well in 2012).
So, How do you predict a perfect 4×100 meter relay time?
My calculations uses the best 4 times of each athlete from their season best (not personal best), subtract 1 second due to acceleration out of the blocks for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th leg, and add 0.1 sec for each of the 3 exchanges.
Add the 4 season best open 100 meter times, and subtract 2.7 seconds.
That’s the lead-off leg, 3 x 100m fly times, and 3 perfect exchanges.
On a side note, I have always advocated the difference between a running start and a crouch or block start is 1 full second. One second has always been my magic number to account for acceleration out of the blocks. (click the link to my 2009 article on Valery Borzov) though some coaches argue it’s really 1.09 – 1.12 seconds. But this is just theory :)
Push Pass or Upsweep?
Personally, I don’t care what relay passing technique you use, whether it’s the Push Pass or Upsweep pass. As long as both runners (incoming and outgoing) are near full speed, and you can maximize the free distance with outstretched arms, then either one will work. France is known for keeping the Upsweep pass, despite the rest of the world using the Push Pass.
>> SEE ALSO: Complete Guide to 4x100m Relay Statistics