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Relays Relay racing has two main components - sprinting and baton passing Each is vital in helping a team win The main idea is to run around the track passing the baton from one runner to the next The relay is primarily the only team event in all of track and field Each team member must work together to achieve one common goal Many Olympic teams are made up of many good sprinters that do not win because they do not work together as efficiently as possible In the Olympics there is a 4x100m relay and a 4x400m relay for both men and women The passing of the baton is the determining factor in almost all high level relay competitions A good hand-off can easily make up for a lack of speed A bad hand-off can cost a team all its speed The basic idea of the baton pass is to get the lead runner the baton while both runners are at top speed This maximizes the effort of the team over the entire race There are two fundamental types of passes in the relay The upsweep consists of the back runner sweeping their arm upward to the receivers hand The downsweep consists of the runner moving their arm downward into the outstretched palm of the receiver The elementary outside change is one of the basic forms of baton passing The initial runner carries the baton in the left hand and runs the outside half of the lane In an upsweep motion they pass the baton to the V created by the receivers thumb and forefinger The receiver stands on the inside half of the lane and is turned looking back over their right shoulder The receiver has their left foot forward and is a modified crouch stance Immediately after the baton exchange the baton is switched from the right hand to the left hand This technique is easy to learn and promotes a
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