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The sport of athletics is an Specific collection of Various sporting events that involve competitive games of olympic sports like running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking.
The first ever organized athletics events at a sports festival was the Ancient Olympic Games. At the first Games in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, only one event was contested: the stallion footrace and the first olympic winner was Koroibos. From there the athletics were started initially.
The history of athletics its roots in human prehistory. In later years as and when the human race is developed , in the athletics definition further running competitions have been added. Also in the Ancient Olympic pentathlon, normally there are four of the events are part of the track and field we have even today. The long jump, the javelin throw, the discus throw and the stallion foot race.
In ancient times, there were many Athletics events present at the Panhellenic Games in Greece around this period, and they become well known to Rome in 200 BC. In the Middle Ages and mid era of the world new track and field events began developing in parts of Northern Europe. The stone put and weight throw competitions popular among Celtic societies were precursors to the modern shot put and hammer throw events. Also the pole vault, was become very popular in the Northern European Lowlands in the 18th century and so on.
At the outset of Modern competitions in athletics, they were took place for the very first time in the 19th century. Usually they were organised by private educational institutions, government military organisations and various local sports clubs as competitions between them and their rival establishments. In these competitions the hurdling concept were introduced for the first time.
Also, in the mid 19th century some national associations have been established and organized the first national competitions. In 1880 , for the very initial outset , the Amateur Athletic Association of England start organizing the annual AAA Championships while in United States in 1876 took place for the first time the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships first by the New York Athletic Club.
However modern Olympic Games in Athens at 1896 marked a new era for track and field. Now people really knew about what the olympic is form this Olympic athletics programme, comprising track and field events plus a marathon race, contained many of the foremost sporting competitions of the 1896 Summer Olympics. Also, this Olympics has also consolidated the use of metric measurements in international track and field events, both for race distances and for measuring jumps and throws. The events of track and field have been expanded simultaneously year by year gradually.
In the landmark year of 1912, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was established, becoming the international governing body for athletics, having the amateurism as one of its founding principles for the sport. They have organized The first continental track and field competition was the 1919 South American Championships followed by the European Athletics Championships in 1934. In the 1928 Summer Olympics women competed for the first time.Furthermore, major athletics competitions for disabled athletes were first introduced at the 1960 Summer Paralympics.
From the late 1960s, the athletics gained more exposure through television coverage. earlier there was no television coverage. After over half a century of amateurism, the amateur status of the sport began to be displaced by growing professionalism in the late 1970s.
Professionalism in this filed began to develop in the year 1982. In 1982 The IAAF abandoned amateurism, and later changed its name as the International Association of Athletics Federations. The following year IAAF established the World Championships in Athletics – the first ever global competition for athletics which became one of track and field's most prestigious competitions along with the Olympics.
Now, The IAAF World Championships in Athletics became a fully professional competition with the introduction of prize money in 1997. Also in 1998 the IAAF Golden League increased the professionalism of athletics. In 2010, the series was replaced by the more lucrative IAAF Diamond League which comprises meetings in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East which are the first ever worldwide annual series of track and field meetings.
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As many as 25 events may make up a men’s meet; women compete in a few less. The men’s track events at championship meets generally include the 100-, 200-, 400-, 800-, 1,500-, 5,000-, and 10,000-metre runs; the 3,000-metre steeplechase; the 110- and 400-metre hurdles; and the 400- and 1,500-metre relays. The field events usually include the high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus throw,hammer throw, and javelin throw. The decathlon, combining 10 track-and-field events, is also featured. Women run much the same schedule, with a 100-metre hurdles event instead of 110 metres. They compete in the heptathlon (seven events) rather than the decathlon. Women walk up to 20,000 metres and men up to 50,000 metres.
The relatively short sprint distances, ranging up to 400 metres, require a sustained top speed. Originally all sprinters started from a standing position, but in the 1880s the crouch start was invented, and it became a rule that sprinters must start with both feet and both hands on the track. The introduction of the adjustablestarting block aided the quick start, critical in the sprints.
The current record holder at 100 metres generally is considered to be “the fastest human.”
High hurdlers need excellent speed, most champions also being good sprinters. An outstanding example is Harrison Dillard (U.S.), who won the 100-metre flat race in the 1948 Olympics and the high hurdles in the 1952 Games. Intermediate hurdlers also combine speed with hurdling ability. Glenn Davis (U.S.), who won both the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, was a world-record breaker on the flat as well as over the hurdles. Edwin Moses (U.S.) virtually revolutionized the event with his unusual 13-stride (between hurdles) technique. He also won two Olympics and achieved a winning streak lasting nearly 10 years.
The relays involve four runners per team, each member carrying a baton for 25 percent of the total distance before passing it to the next team runner. Two events, the 4 × 100- and 4 × 400-metre relays, are standard. They are included both in low-level dual meets and in the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships. Speed is essential in both events, and the ability to pass the baton well is especially crucial in the shorter event, where each runner covers 100 metres. Exchanging the baton while running about 25 miles per hour brings to the event a quality of suspense. Many races have been won or lost by the quality of baton passing. Other relay events—the 4 × 200-, 4 × 800-, and 4 × 1,500-metres—are run much less frequently.
This event, also called race walking, is relatively minor. Aside from the Olympic and other multinational competitions, it is seldom a part of track meets. Olympic competition is over 20,000 and 50,000 metres, while other distances are used in individual competitions.
Men and women compete in four jumping events: the high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault.
Jumping styles evolved in the 20th century with techniques called the scissors, eastern cut-off, western roll, and straddle (or belly roll) preceding the Fosbury flop. Named for its inventor, Dick Fosbury (U.S.), the 1968 Olympic champion, the flop involves an approach from almost straight ahead, then twisting on takeoff and going over headfirst with the back to the bar. Charles Dumas (U.S.), a notable example of the straddle jumpers, in 1956 became the first man to clear 7 feet (2.13 metres). Valeriy Brumel (U.S.S.R.) held the high-jump record for 10 years using the straddle jump. A woman jumper, Iolanda Balas (Romania), achieved remarkable feats in the event, establishing 13 world records and a winning streak of 140 meets.
THE POLE VAULT
Gonzalez, Alexandra [Credit: Inaldo Perez/AP]Pole-vaulting is conducted along the lines of the high jump; i.e., vaulters attempt to vault over a crossbar placed on uprights, they have three tries at each height, and they land in an inflated or composition pit.
The vaulter runs down a runway for about 45 metres (150 feet) carrying a pole. After planting the end of the pole in a box that is sunk below ground level, the vaulter leaves the ground and pulls himself upward until he is almost doing a handstand on the pole. He twists as he nears the crossbar and arches over it feetfirst and facedown.
The first poles, of solid ash, cedar, or hickory, were heavy and cumbersome. Once the bamboo pole was introduced in 1904, it was quickly adopted. Records set with bamboo lasted until 1957, when records were set with an aluminum pole and a steel pole; these were followed by the fibreglass pole in the 1960s.
The dominant vaulter of the bamboo era was Cornelius Warmerdam (U.S.), who scored six world records; he was the first vaulter to go over 15 feet (4.6 metres), and he set a record of 15 feet 7.75 inches that lasted for 15 years. The constant improvement of fibreglass poles helped vaulters such as Sergey Bubka (Ukraine) push the record over 20 feet in the 1990s. In the 1990s the IAAF added women’s pole vault to the competition roster, and Stacy Dragila (U.S.) became the event’s first women’s world and Olympic champion.
Beamon, Bob [Credit: UPI/Bettmann Newsphotos]Three distinct landmarks stand out in the history of long jumping. The first of these was the achievement of Jesse Owens (U.S.), who on May 25, 1935, jumped 8.13 metres (26 feet 8.25 inches), a record that endured for 25 years. The second was Bob Beamon’s (U.S.) leap of 8.90 metres (29 feet 2.5 inches), a jump that exceeded the old world record by 55 cm (21.5 inches). The third feat came in 1991, when Mike Powell (U.S.) broke Beamon’s 23-year record with a jump of 8.95 metres (29 feet 4.5 inches).
Notable among the women jumpers are Heike Drechsler (Germany) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (U.S.), both of whom leaped over 7 metres (23 feet).
THE TRIPLE JUMP
Once known as the hop, step, and jump, the triple jump includes three distinct segments of action. The jumper comes down the runway and bounds off a takeoff board, similar in style to but a little slower than long jumpers. The first segment involves the jumper executing a hop by landing on the same foot from which he took off. Then he takes a step, landing on the other foot, and concludes with a jump into the sand pit.
Among the outstanding competitors, Adhemar da Silva (Brazil) won two Olympics and set five world records; Jozef Schmidt (Poland), also a two-time Olympic champion, set a record in 1960 of 17.03 metres (55 feet 10.5 inches) and was the first to go over the 17-metre barrier; and Viktor Saneyev (U.S.S.R.) had three world records and three Olympic wins and one second place. Women began competing in the triple jump in the mid-1980s.