Noah Lyles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024 . GETTY IMAGES

Paris 2024 Olympic spots are up for grabs at this weekend's World Athletics Relays. Noah Lyles is the main attraction, but other global superstars competing include Dutch 400m hurdler Femke Bol and Italy's reigning Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs.

The stage is set at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, where some 893 athletes from 54 countries will compete on Saturday and Sunday. American sprinter Lyles, who won the 100m and 200m sprint double at last year's Budapest World Championships before anchoring Team USA to 4x100m relay gold, is among the stars hoping to clinch an Olympic ticket at the first opportunity. Lyles is joined in the Caribbean by Olympic 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek and this year's breakout name Courtney Lindsey.

USATF confirmed that Lyles will run in the 4x100m relay alongside Bednarek and world 200m leader Lindsey, who boasts a blistering time of 19.71 seconds this year. Kyree King was named as the final athlete although the line-up is subject to change. In Budapest, Lyles anchored USA to victory over both Italy and Jamaica in 37.38.

The American superstar’s set goal is to conquer four golds in sprinting events in Paris, something no athlete has ever achieved before. “A lot of people thought I was just doing it for the headlines,” Lyles told Reuters in a March 2024 interview after his first attempt at the 4x400m relay. “I just ran the 4x400m in Glasgow (Indoor World Championships), and I felt that was definitely one of my ways of saying that this isn’t a joke." Fellow American sprinters Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens won four athletics golds at a single Olympics, but both had to rely on the long jump.

Lyles posted a wind-assisted 9.96 to win the 100m in Bermuda on Monday, while Tamari Davis won the women's version in 11.04. Both will be seeking to guide their teams into competition at this summer's Games. Davis, Gabby Thomas, Tamara Clark and Melissa Jefferson are also hoping to replicate past success after helping USA to women's 4x100m gold in the Hungarian capital, but Sha'Carri Richardson is not in Nassau.

Bol's sensational anchor leg secured 4x400m relay gold for the Netherlands in Budapest, and the indoor 400m world record holder is joined by fellow world champions Lieke Klaver and Cathelijn Peeters.

Jacobs has struggled with injury since his shock success at the Tokyo 2020 and helping Italy win the men's 4x100m Olympic title. He was part of the quartet which took silver behind Lyles and co in Budapest with Roberto Rigali and Olympic gold medallists Lorenzo Patta and Filippo Tortu completing the line-up. 

Recently-crowned world indoor bronze medallist Ackeem Blake has been included in the Jamaican men's team, but world and Olympic gold medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah are all missing from the women's roster.

The hosts have reigning Olympic 400m champions Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner at their disposal with world indoor 60m hurdles gold medallist Devynne Charlton set to feature in the women's 4x100m relay.

Other big names to keep an eyes on are South Africa's 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk and Botswana's sprint sensation Letsile Tebogo who won two silver medals behind Lyles in Budapest. Both reigning 800m world champions, Marco Arop of Canada and Kenya's Mary Moraa, will also be present.

The two-day programme will feature five relay events: the women's 4x100m and 4x400m, the men's 4x100m and 4x400m, and a mixed 4x400m featuring two men and two women. One team per nation can compete in each event. The top 14 teams in each event will automatically qualify for places at the Paris Olympics. The remaining two places in each discipline will be awarded based on top lists during the qualification period (31 December 2022- 30 June 2024).

Olympic spots are up for grabs on both days of action in the Bahamas. On the first day, the top two teams in each heat will advance to the final on day two, while also securing their qualification for the Paris Games. In the finals on day two, teams will compete for prize money and obtain Olympic lane seeding positions. All other teams will compete on day two in the additional round where the top two teams in each heat will also qualify for Paris 2024.

Prize money is also at stake, with $40,000 (37,000 euros) to be awarded to the winners, while the eighth-placed team take away $2,000 (1,850 euros). The 2024 Relays are the sixth edition of the World Athletics competition, which return to Nassau for the first time since 2017. The Bahamian capital hosted the first three editions (2014, 2015 and 2017) before it went to the Japanese city of Yokohama in 2019 and then Silesia, Poland, in 2021.

Miller-Uibo, the 400m gold medallist from Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, is delighted the event is back on home soil. "It's wonderful competing here because there's no other feeling like hearing your home crowd cheer you on. It makes you want to bring your best," she said of the electric atmosphere at the national stadium. "I think we have an amazing team for the mixed relay and I'm hoping we can qualify the Bahamas for the Olympic Games."