By Owen Morgan
Welsh sprinter Owen Smith is celebrating his second Great Britain call-up of the year.
The Cardiff AC man pulled on the GB vest at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow earlier this month.
Now, he has been included in a strong British team bound for the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan in May.
In-form Smith will be part of the 4x 400m squad alongside the hugely experienced Martyn Rooney – who has seven major outdoor relay medals – Cameron Chalmers, Dwayne Cowan, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Jamal Rhoden-Stevens and Rabah Yousif.
The Matt Elias-trained athlete is becoming something of a fixture in Great Britain squads having also competed at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham last year.
The 26-strong party, which will compete over 100m and 400m in Japan, boasts 78 major international outdoor medals, including seven Olympic, 17 World Championship and 21 European Championship relay medallists.
As well as hunting for medal glory, the respective teams will be seeking to secure guaranteed qualification for the relays at the World Athletics Championships in Doha later this year.
The event will also provide invaluable experience of competing in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The men’s 4x100m squad includes Adam Gemili, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah, who helped Great Britain to world 4x100m gold in 2017.
In the women’s 4x100m, Olympic bronze medallists from 2016 and world silver medallists from 2017 Desiree Henry, Daryll Neita and Asha Philip are among those selected.
While Emily Diamond, Eilidh Doyle and Anyika Onuora, in the women’s 4x400m squad, all have Olympic bronze medals from 2016.
A mixed 4x400m team will also be selected from the athletes named in the squad.
British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black said: “We are extremely proud of the successes of our relay teams over the past three years and our athletes take each and every opportunity to compete on the international stage incredibly seriously, as proven by the sheer strength of the team selected for Yokohama.
“We expect our athletes to continue that tradition of success in Japan and guarantee qualification for all five events for the IAAF World Championships later in the year. The introduction of the mixed 4x400m for Doha is something we are all excited about and we look forward to testing our skills in that event.
“The IAAF World Relays provides us with a great opportunity as we prepare for not only Doha but also for the Olympic Games, which we all know are also being held in Japan in 2020. The opportunity to train and compete in Japan 14 months before the Games is invaluable to all those selected.”
The full British team selected for the IAAF World Relays Yokohama, May 12-13, 2019:
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton & District; Benke Blomkvist); Adam Gemili (Blackheath & Bromley; Rana Reider); Richard Kilty (Middlesbrough Mandale; Benke Blomkvist); Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Newham & Essex Beagles; Lance Brauman); Reece Prescod (Enfield & Haringey; Jonas Dodoo); CJ Ujah (Enfield & Haringey; Jonas Dodoo)
Cameron Chalmers (Guernsey; James Hillier); Dwayne Cowan (Hercules Wimbledon; Lloyd Cowan); Matthew Hudson-Smith (Birchfield Harriers; Lance Brauman); Martyn Rooney (Croydon); Jamal Rhoden-Stevens (Shaftesbury Barnet; Donovan Reid); Owen Smith (Cardiff; Matt Elias); Rabah Yousif (Newham & Essex Beagles; Carol Williams).
Kristal Awuah (Herne Hill; Matthew Thomas); Desiree Henry (Enfield & Haringey; Lance Brauman); Daryll Neita (Shaftesbury Barnet; Jonas Dodoo); Ashleigh Nelson (City of Stoke; Michael Afilaka); Asha Philip (Newham & Essex Beagles; Steve Fudge); Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey; Lloyd Cowan).
Finette Agyapong (Newham & Essex Beagles; Coral Nourrice); Amy Allcock (Aldershot Farnham & District; Glyn Hawkes); Zoey Clark (Thames Valley; Eddie McKenna); Emily Diamond (Bristol & West; Benke Blomkvist); Eilidh Doyle (Pitreavie; Brian Doyle); Laviai Nielsen (Enfield & Haringey; Christine Bowmaker); Anyika Onuora (Liverpool; Benke Blomkvist).