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Sprint medley relay

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Title: Sprint medley relay  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of athletics events, 1999 World Youth Championships in Athletics, Michelle Jenneke, 4×400 metres relay at the Olympics, Nickel Ashmeade
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sprint medley relay

The sprint medley relay (SMR) is a track and field event in which teams of four athletes compete over sprinting distances as part of a relay race. Unlike most track relays, each member of the team runs a different distance. The sprint medley is rather uncommon, run most frequently at track meets which are focused on relays.

The standard sprint medley consists of one 400 meter leg, followed by two 200 meter legs, and one 800m leg. The event totals 1600 meters, which is about one mile. A common variation is to do half those distances, two 100 meter legs, one 200 meter leg and one 400 meter leg, totaling 800 meters.

First leg

The Sprint Medley starts out with a 400 meter leg. The runners start in designated lanes, and are allowed to cut to the inside of the track at a designated point of the last 100 meters. The first changeover zone is near the normal finish line for the 400 meters, and is similar to a 4x400 meter exchange.

First and second exchange

The second runner runs 200 meters, and shares lanes with the other runners. The next exchange zone is located at the 200 meter zone. The exchange is done by the runner accelerating, and looking back for the baton. The third runner runs the second 200 meters.

Final exchange

The final exchange is done by the outgoing runner taking one or two steps before looking back to get the exchange.


A variant also exists which has the sprint medley done with 200, 200, 400, and 800 legs

Super sprint medley

The super sprint medley relay, which may also be called the short sprint medley, consists of two 100 meter legs, one 200 meter leg, and one 400m leg. The event totals 800 meters. The first three exchanges are blind exchanges. The last exchange is a 4x400 relay exchange.

Start and first exchange

The start of a sprint medley is the same as the 4x100 meter relay. The first changeover zone is also the same as a 4x100 meter relay (yellow to yellow, or red to red on some tracks.) The first runner starts out of blocks, carrying the baton in his/her right hand. The second runner will carry the baton in his left hand.Then the second leg runner will hand over the baton to the third leg runner who will be doing the 400m which they will collect the batton in a visuall pass

Second exchange

The second exchange (second to third runner) is the same as a 4x100 meter relay. The third runner will receive the baton in his/her right hand, and hug the inside of the lane through the turn. As soon as the runner comes out of the curve, he should move to the outside of the lane and switch the baton to the left hand.

Final exchange

The third and final exchange is a 4x400 meter exchange. The outgoing runner takes one or two steps before looking back to get the exchange. The changeover zone is blue to blue.


A variant is also run with the 200 meter leg done first, followed by the two 100 meter legs and the 400 meter leg.

See also

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