Portal:Athletics
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Portal:Athletics

THE ATHLETICS PORTAL

Athletics stadium

Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive 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 results of racing events are decided by finishing position (or time, where measured), while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in the world. Athletics is mostly an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes' performances for a team score, such as cross country.

Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC. The rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, and were then spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.

The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Athletics Championships.

The word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ? (athl?t?s, "combatant in public games") from (athlon, "prize") or (athlos, "competition"). Initially, the term was used to describe athletic contests in general - i.e. sporting competition based primarily on human physical feats. In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking, jumping and throwing. This definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire. Furthermore, foreign words in many Germanic and Romance languages which are related to the term athletics also have a similar meaning.

In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining a more historic usage of the term. The word "athletics" is rarely used to refer to the sport of athletics in this region. Track and field is preferred, and is used in the United States and Canada to refer to most athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running (although cross country running is typically considered as a separate sport).

Track and Field.svg More about...Athletics

Athletics competitions

It's from the first edition (1896 Summer Olympics), that Athletics has been considered the "Queen" of the Olympics. Since then there have been a series of competitions organized at world level, than at the continental level. Furthermore, the Athletics is the main sport of nearly all multi-sport events such as Universiade, Mediterranean Games or Pan American Games. The following list refers to the main Athletics competitions that take place in the world.

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Eric Liddell, one of two characters of the movie.

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice. The film takes some liberties with the events at the 1924 Olympics, including the events surrounding Liddell's refusal to race on a Sunday. In the film, he doesn't learn that the 100 metre heat is to be held on the Christian "Sabbath" until he is boarding the boat to Paris. In fact, the schedule was made public several months in advance. Liddell did however face immense pressure to run on that Sunday and to compete in the 100 metres, getting called before a grilling by the British Olympic Committee, the Prince of Wales, and other grandees; The decision to change races was, even so, made well before embarking to Paris, and Liddell spent the intervening months training for the 400 metres, an event in which he had previously excelled. It is true, nonetheless, that Liddell's success in the Olympic 400m was largely unexpected.

Selected biography

Haile Gebrselassie at Vienna City Marathon 2011.jpg

Haile Gebrselassie (Amharic: , hayl? gebre silass?; born , 1973) is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this, he won four world titles indoors and was the 2001 World Half Marathon Champion. Gebrselassie had major competition wins at distances between 1500 metres and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road running in the latter part of his career. He broke 61 Ethiopian National Records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history. In September 2008, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds. The record stood for three years. Since he was over the age of 35, that mark still stands as the Masters Age group world record.

World records

As of 19 October 2014
Event Men Record Women Record
100 m Jamaica Usain Bolt 9.58 United States Florence Griffith-Joyner 10.49
200 m Jamaica Usain Bolt 19.19 United States Florence Griffith-Joyner 21.34
400 m South Africa Wayde van Niekerk 43.03 East Germany Marita Koch 47.60
800 m Kenya David Rudisha 1:40.91 Czechoslovakia Jarmila Kratochvílová 1:53.28
1500 m Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj 3:26.00 China Qu Yunxia 3:50.46
3000 m Kenya Daniel Komen 7:20.67 China Wang Junxia 8:06.11
5000 m Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele 12:37.35 Ethiopia Tirunesh Dibaba 14:11.15
10000 m Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele 26:17.53 China Wang Junxia 29:31.78
Marathon Kenya Dennis Kipruto Kimetto *2:02:57 United Kingdom Paula Radcliffe 2:15:25
3000 m steeplechase Qatar Saif Saaeed Shaheen 7:53.63 Russia Gulnara Samitova-Galkina 8:58.81
110 / 100 m hurdles United States Aries Merritt 12.80 Bulgaria Jordanka Donkova 12.21
400 m hurdles United States Kevin Young 46.78 Russia Yuliya Pechonkina 52.34
High jump Cuba Javier Sotomayor 2.45 m Bulgaria Stefka Kostadinova 2.09 m
Pole vault France Renaud Lavillenie 6.16 m Russia Elena Isinbaeva 5.06 m
Long jump United States Mike Powell 8.95 m Soviet Union Galina Chistyakova 7.52 m
Triple jump United Kingdom Jonathan Edwards 18.29 m Ukraine Inessa Kravets 15.50 m
Shot put United States Randy Barnes 23.12 m Soviet Union Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m
Discus throw East Germany Jürgen Schult 74.08 m East Germany Gabriele Reinsch 76.80 m
Hammer throw Soviet Union Yuriy Sedykh 86.74 m Poland Anita W?odarczyk *79.58 m
Javelin throw Czech Republic Jan ?elezný 98.48 m Czech Republic Barbora ?potáková 72.28 m
Decathlon/Heptathlon United States Ashton Eaton 9,039 pt. United States Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7,291 pt.
20 km racewalk Russia Vladimir Kanaykin 1:17:16 Russia Elena Lashmanova 1:25:02
50 km racewalk France Yohann Diniz 3:32:33
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4×100 m relay  Jamaica 36.84  United States 40.82
4×400 m relay  United States 2:54.29  Soviet Union 3:15.17

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