After a two-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 restrictions, the Republic Bank-NAAATT Relays Festival is back. The event will be held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium next weekend from 1 p.m.
Unlike previous years, the upcoming event will be contested on a zonal basis. According to a release yesterday from the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAATT), member clubs of the Association have been assigned to zones based on their geographic locations.
Four zones - North West, North East, South Central and Tobago - will each field two teams, filling out all eight lanes at the venue. Zonal coordinators and assistant coordinators have been appointed to mobilise the clubs in each zone and to ensure that the best talent will be on show.
The Relays Festival is intended to provide local athletes with high level competition similar to that faced in the international arena. This year's format is specifically designed to promote competitive balance through collaboration among clubs and with rivalry across zones.
The NAAATT said preparations were proceeding smoothly, with three zones holding run-offs over the last weekend to aid in the selection of their respective teams. Athletes will have a further warm-up this coming weekend at the Zenith Relays & Field Events Festival that is being held at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago has a rich tradition and proud track record in relay events at major international competitions. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Team TTO was eventually adjudged winners of the Men's 4X100m event. The Men's 4X400m team won gold at the 2017 World Championships in London and at the 2019 World Relays in Tokyo. At the most recent Carifta Games in Jamaica, the national team won five relay medals - silver in the Boy's Under 17 4X100m and 4X400m; and the Boy's Under 20 4X400m with bronze in both the Girl's Under 17 and Under 20 4X100m.