History of Athletics
Athletics events have been organized for nearly 3000 years. They were a main part of old Olympic Games held in Greece from 775 BC.
Today, running, jumping and throwing events, called ‘track and field’, hold a high position in the world of sport. Sprinting events are run over distances of 100 and 200 metres. The hundred metres is run over a straight course. The 200 metres usually includes a bend, but is run in lanes. Middle distance events are often classified as those between 400 and 1500 metres. Mile races also come into this class.
Races over one mile can be classified as long distance events. They are usually run over 5000 and 10,000 metres. The marathon starts and finishes on a track but the remainder of the 26 miles 385 yards race is through the surrounding streets. The 3000 metres steeplechase is run over a track with four hurdles and a water jump.
The info about Race
The main hurdles events are the metres high hurdles (the hurdles are 106cm high) and the 400 metres intermediate hurdles, in which the hurdles are 91 cm high. Women run metres over 84cm hurdles, and 200 metres over 76cm hurdles. The most popular relay races are the 4×400 metres.
Field events include high and long jumping, the triple jump, pole vault, throwing the discus, javelin, shot and hammer. Almost all high jumpers now use the ‘flop’ method in which the jumper twists the body after take-off and goes over the bar backwards. In pole vaulting, the pole in of flexible glass fibre and about metres long.
The discus is thrown from a circle 2.5 metres in diameter, the shot and hammer from a 2.1 metres circle. The standard shot weighs 7.257 kg (16 pounds), the same weight as the hammer and its steel wire. The women’s shot weighs 4 kg.
Two of the most testing events are the decathlon and heptathlon. The decathlon (for men) is made up of ten events contested over two days. They are the 100 and 400 metres, high jump, long jump, shot put, 1500 metres, 110-metre hurdles, pole vault, javelin and discus. The heptathlon for women has seven events: 100 metres hurdles, high jump, putting the shot, 200 metres, 800 metres, long jump and javelin.