By Paul Osborne at the 8x100m venue on Yanshan Road in Nanjing

IAAF President Lamine Diack has praised the inaugural 8x100m relay here in Nanjing ©Getty Images  International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack has praised the inaugural 8x100 metres relay as an "excellent idea" following its showing at the Summer Youth Olympic Games here this evening.

The mixed team relay is an innovative idea put forward by the IAAF which sees eight randomly selected athletes - four male and four female - across a range of events and all National Olympic Committees compete within a single team.

Each team had to include at least one athlete from each discipline group: sprints/hurdles, endurance, jumping and throwing.

More than 500 athletes competed across the eight heats of the event - held at a specially-constructed athletics venue on Yanshan Road - before the nine finalists were pitted against one another in a final showdown.

Team 34, comprising of a German shot putter, an Australian sprinter, a 1500m runner from Comoros, a 400m hurdler from Thailand, a 400m sprinter from Venezuela, a Russian triple jumper, an 800m runner from the British Virgin Islands and a Romanian 200m sprinter, were the eventual winners of the race.

The eight athletes completed the total 800m distance in a time of 1min 40.20sec, 0.71 faster than David Rudisha's world record for the distance.

The 8x100m mixed relay say eight teams of eight athletes from all athletics disciplines and all National Olympic Committees compete across nine heats before the final showdown ©Getty ImagesThe 8x100m mixed relay sees eight teams of eight athletes from all athletics disciplines and all National Olympic Committees compete across nine heats, before the final showdown
©Getty Images

Winning was not the fundamental objective of the event, however, with the "mixing of all the different countries, and the athletes coming together, building themselves their own team, finding a captain and running," the overriding aim, according to Diack.

"There are 66 teams of eight running here," Diack told insidethegames.

"That's around 500 people and we're only 680 in this competition.

"So that's around 80 per cent of athletes competing here.

"And I think this kind of gathering, it builds friendships, and I think this event is very good for that."

Australia's Rachel Pace, winner of the B final in the 100m hurdles, was a member of the silver medal-winning team in the event and she reflected on a "fun" experience this evening.

"I didn't expect to win a medal here," said the 16-year-old Australian.

"It was fun.

"Most of the athletes [in my team] spoke enough English to communicate.

"It was a really good experience and I'm glad that the organisers have run an event like this.

"It is awesome to have a team event rather than an individual and to run with other athletes on the same team from all around the world.

"It is another way of socialising and mingling with other people."

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