The 4 by 100 meters is a sprint relay, where teams of four runners complete a whole lap around the standard outdoor track by completing 100 meters each. In this race, the baton for tagging must be passed within a given set of parameters, in this case, a 20 meter changeover box marked by yellow lines, 10 meters before and after the beginning of each subsequent leg of the race. The outgoing runner is limited to an orange acceleration marker line 10 meters farther back, from which he / she is forbidden to start beyond it.
The 4 x 100 meter event is more popular among men than women, with the US and Britain teams dominating the records for this event. The women's US team also dominates this event, after the crown had been held for a long time by East Germany.
Finding the right balance for a successful baton exchange is difficult. For most, maximizing the baton exchange will involve precise timing-- where the outgoing runner is almost at full speed and at an arms length from the incoming runner so that there will be little room for error in passing. What outgoing runners usually do is, they usually mark the track with tape or chalk, around 6 to 8 meters behind the acceleration marker, and set off when the incoming runner reaches the mark. Once they're both inside the changeover box, the outgoing runner will then hold his hand back, where the incoming runner will have the responsibility of handing the baton to him.
The arm held out is also crucial to the event. For the most part, runners in the 1st and 3rd leg run towards their teammates with their baton in their right hand while the runners in the 3rd and 4th leg take the baton in their left. The handover of the baton is one of the most common grounds for disqualification, as its very possible to drop and mishandle a baton, even though a smooth handover can compensate for lack of speed.
The men's world record for the 4 x 100 meter track relay belongs to the U.S. national team, with a...
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