Noah Lyles anchored USA to Paris men's 4x100m relay qualification in the Bahamas. GETTY IMAGES

World sprint champion Noah Lyles and reigning Olympic 100m gold medallist Marcell Jacobs helped the United States and Italy earn respective qualification for the men's 4x100m relays at Paris 2024.

Drawn in heat one at the World Athletics Relays in Nassau, the US quartet of Courtney Lindsey, Kenny Bednarek, Kyree King and anchor Lyles took victory in a world lead time of 37.49 seconds on Saturday.

Jacobs ran the second leg for the Italians who are defending their World Athletics Relays crown from 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions were second, 0.65 behind, with the top two in each of the four heats going through to Sunday's final and securing automatic qualification for Paris.

Andre De Grasse and Canada won heat three with Japan, Italy, China, France, Great Britain and Jamaica also obtaining top-two finishes.

Lyles told AFP afterwards, "In Oregon (when the US took world silver in 2022 behind Canada), I was on the second leg, that's what I did in high school a lot. It was all right, but it's nowhere near as fun as running across the line and putting the USA front and centre.

"I can't wait until the night for the moment when we cross the line first," the American added in response to the Italian team saying they had a good chance to retain their Olympic title in Paris.

Jacobs was more than pleased with his leg, saying, "I got the baton and had the Liberian in front of me. He was my point and I passed him. The second exchange was very quick and good. We wanted to get into first two without too much drama and we did it. We're confirming the strength of our squad."

Gabby Thomas led the US women's quartet to a solid victory in 42.21sec in their heat of the 4x100m. "We came together and made it happen in such a short time. Tomorrow, I believe we will do better and can be faster," said the Olympic 200m bronze medallist.

Jamaica, without world and Olympic gold medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, were only fifth in their heat won by Poland. They will try again to qualify in Sunday's repechage where the top two in three heats will book their spots in Paris. Australia  set an area record to finish second in heat three behind Germany with Britain, Netherlands, Canada and France also qualifying for the final and Paris 2024.

The home crowd, roused by a carnival atmosphere featuring dancers, drums and a brass band, were disappointed as Olympic 400m champions and local heroes Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner were unable to secure qualification in the mixed 4x400m relay.

The Bahamas led on the final baton change, but Shania Adderley was passed by Femke Bol, the recently crowned world indoor 400m champion and reigning world 400m hurdles gold medallist, as the Dutch won in 3:12.16. Dominican Republic, thanks to a strong anchor from reigning 400m world champion Marileidy Paulino, snatched the vital second place with Jamaica's Janieve Russell pipping Adderley for third.

"We knew we had to be strong, we had the Bahamas in the mix," said Bol, who was joined by Isayah Boers, Lieke Klaver and Isaya Klein Ikkink. "We'll be even faster tomorrow."

Also advancing as the two top finishers in the three other heats were the United States, Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Nigeria and France.

The Bahamas have a second opportunity to qualify for Paris in Sunday's repechage round. Those races take place before the finals where the teams will be vying for prize money. Winning teams receive $40,000 (37,000 euros) with the eighth-placed team taking away $2,000 (1,800 euros).

Rhasidat Adeleke had a night to remember, running brilliantly in the mixed 4x400m and women's 4x400m relays as Ireland qualified as heat winners in both. The other women's 4x400m qualifiers were Britain, Italy, Poland, Canada, France, the United States and Norway.

In the men's 4x400m, in-form youngster Letsile Tebogo and 38-year-old veteran Isaac Makwala helped Botswana win the final heat to book their place in Paris. South Africa, with world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk on the third leg, were second with the two African teams the only ones to break the three-minute barrier. Belgium, Japan, Germany, Italy, Nigeria and Britain all also went through to Sunday's final.